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Tigers Vs. Pirates, 23 June 2012

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June 17, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Brad Lincoln (32) delivers in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
June 17, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Brad Lincoln (32) delivers in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

With Fox moving their weekly Saturday telecast into prime time this year, they forced the Pirates and many other teams to adjust some of their Saturday start times or have the games blacked out. Today is the first of two 4:05 starts in Pittsburgh over the next three weeks and the Bucs are expecting their sixth sellout of the season.

As Charlie mentioned yesterday, the matchups get progressively harder as the series moves along. Today it's Max Scherzer (6-4, 5.17) vs. Brad Lincoln (3-2, 3.82). It will be an interesting weekend for the two Pirates starters, Lincoln and Kevin Correia. With Jeff Karstens making what is expected to be his final rehab start tomorrow, Lincoln and Correia are probably auditioning for the last spot in the rotation. Lincoln may actually be disadvantaged by the fact that he was so effective out of the bullpen earlier this season. In his three starts since joining the rotation he has been ineffective, not making it to the fifth inning in any of them. His numbers: 11.2IP, 23H, 13R, 4BB, 10K, 4HR, 10.03 ERA. Lincoln will be making his first start of the season at PNC. Out of the PNC at home he's been superb: 9.1IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 10K.

Clint Hurdle has shuffled the deck a bit today. Tabata, Jones, Harrison in; McGehee and Barmes out. Here's the card:

Alex Presley 7
Jose Tabata 9
Andrew McCutchen 8
Garrett Jones 3
Neil Walker 4
Pedro Alvarez 5
Rod Barajas 2
Josh Harrison 6
Brad Lincoln 1

Facing Lincoln:

Austin Jackson 8
Brennan Boesch 9
Miguel Cabrera 5
Prince Fielder 3
Delmon Young 7
Alex Avila 2
Jhonny Peralta 6
Ramon Santiago 4
Max Scherzer 1

UPDATE by Charlie: Max Scherzer is taking the ball even though his brother Alex committed suicide earlier this week, so expect to hear a lot about that today. It's hard not to root for Max, obviously, even as a Pirates fan.