3:55 PM, FOX, WPGB
Tony Armas (1-3, 6.31) vs. Tim Lincecum (6-2, 3.55).
Tony Armas fights for his rotation spot against Tim Lincecum, who's gone from great (most of May) to horrible (most of June) to great again (July). Like Detroit's Andrew Miller, Lincecum's still getting the hang of this big-league pitching thing, so he sometimes walks a ton of batters even though he strikes out a bunch, too. The Pirates are like training wheels for pitchers who walk too many batters since the Bucs couldn't draw walks if their lives depended on it, and Tony Armas is starting, so I'm not too sanguine about the Bucs' chances of winning this one.
Anyway, Lincecum will need to be lights out down the stretch if he's going to pass frontrunner Ryan Braun and win the NL Rookie of the Year award.
-P- The Bucs have signed Victor Zambrano, a.k.a. "The Guy the Mets Traded Scott Kazmir For." Zambrano's arm has been toast for a number of years now and he pitched horribly this year in the Blue Jays organization, so we probably won't pitch with the Bucs.
-P- The Cubs, meanwhile, have reportedly claimed Scott Podsednik on waivers. This isn't as dumb an idea as I initially thought it was - with Alfonso Soriano and Angel Pagan on the shelf, the Cubs' only corner outfielders are Matt Murton, Cliff Floyd and Jacque Jones. Murton's fine, and Jones has hit well recently, but both he and Floyd are unreliable. It's not that Podsednik is any better, but when you've got nothing but unappetizing options, it never hurts to be able to mix and match. This does nothing to address the Cubs' main problem, though, which is that they need a catcher who can hit even a little. And the danger with signing a guy like Podsednik is that your manager falls in love with him because he's fast.