July 6, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez (24) hits a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The San Francisco Giants won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
The Pirates, winners of eight of their last ten, will send their two aces to the hill this weekend as they look to head into the All-Star break on a high note. Today 27-year old righthander James McDonald (8-3, 2.45) gets the call. McDonald has won his last three decisions as the Pirates have scored 9,11 and 11 runs with him on the hill. However, McDonald has struggled with his command in his last two outings so that will be something to watch for.
For the Giants, 34-year old righthander and ex-Bucco Ryan Vogelsong (7-3, 2.26) will be on the mound. Vogelsong is one of the more remarkable comeback stories in the game. He hadn't pitched in the majors since 2006 before returning last year and posting by far the best season of his career and being named to the All-Star team. This season his 2.26 ERA is the best in the National League. In a bit of statistical oddity, Vogelsong has pitched exactly 7.0 innings in 10 of his 15 starts and has not gone less than 6.0 or more than 7.2 innings in any one of them.
The Bucs are 11-2 on Saturdays this season, including 7-0 at home. It's going to be 100 degrees today. If you're going to the game, take the necessary precautions.