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Pirates Vs. Tigers, 19 May 2012

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 13:  A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Houston Astros during the game on May 13, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 13: A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Houston Astros during the game on May 13, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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This one starts early, at 4:05. The matchup is a bit better than last night, although Drew Smyly is no slouch -- he was drafted in 2010, but he carved up the minors, and now he's striking out a batter an inning in the majors.

I know Smyly is a lefty and that Josh Harrison has had hits in his last four games, which in 2012 Pirates terms is a streak to rival Joe DiMaggio's (and yes, I'm just kidding, I know Alex Presley had a much longer streak earlier in the year). But it's still a bit of a drag to see the Pirates and their ailing offense use the DH as an opportunity to start no fewer than four middle infielders. Jake Fox or even Matt Hague would be nice to have around on a day like today.

Update from David: According to Michael Sanserino, Chris Leroux threw a 31-pitch bullpen session without incident today. I would still think Leroux is at least a month away, but he could add depth to an already deep pen. He does not have an option left so the Pirates will have to add him to the 25-man roster when he is activated.

Also, Rob Biertempfel tweets that Jeff Karstens will pitch three innings with AA Altoona on Monday with a 45-pitch limit.

Lineups:

Jose Tabata RF
Josh Harrison 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Neil Walker DH
Rod Barajas C
Casey McGehee 1B
Yamaico Navarro LF
Clint Barmes SS

A.J. Burnett P

Don Kelly CF
Andy Dirks LF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Prince Fielder 1B
Delmon Young DH
Alex Avila C
Brennan Boesch RF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Ramon Santiago 2B

Drew Smyly P