The focus has been on the draft the last 48 hours (great work Charlie, et al), but now it's time for the big club to get back in action. Tonight the Pirates open a 3-game set with the Cincinnati Reds at The Great American Ballpark. It's a battle of the top two teams in the National League Central. How's that sound on June 5th? A.J Burnett takes the mound for the Pirates, Brad Lincoln has been pushed back to tomorrow, and Homer Bailey for the Reds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.
Alex Presley is back with the team after about three weeks in Indianapolis. He will start in left tonight and bat leadoff. Jose Tabata gets the day off, presumably to continue to rest and rehab his tight hamstring. Pedro Alvarez and Jordy Mercer will be sitting somewhere nearby when the Bucs are in the field. Neal Huntington's major off-season position-player acquisitions will be batting 6-7-8. Maybe Barajas' recent hot streak can rub off on the other two. Homer Bailey threw a complete game 4-hitter in the Reds 8-1 win over the Pirates at PNC a week ago today. Here's the lineup he'll face tonight:
Dusty Baker is going with the following:
We laughed at the weak lineups the Brewers posted this past weekend. No laughing tonight. That's a potent lineup for A.J. to face.