Pirates

Inter-league Play

I’m actually excited for inter-league play.  Normally I dread this time of year and pray we can get through without totally getting bombed.  Always before because we had pitchers who soft-tossed and nibbled which AL clubs tend to eat up.  And, because we always seemed to play a man down with some scrub getting a start due to the DH requirement.

This year is different.

We already know Garrett Jones will get the nod today as the DH which means Gaby Sanchez will be the staring first baseman.  Since Justin Verlander is a RHP, and Travis Snider has hit .333 off him in nine at bats, I expect we’ll see Snider get the start in right field.  Russell Martin will certainly play catcher.  I’m guessing since Neil Walker has started to heat up a bit that he’ll play second.  So the biggest questions are who will play shortstop and where will everyone bat?  Here is a guess, and when you look at this lineup, you realize that this is not your same old Pirates.

  1. LF  Starling Marte
  2. RF  Travis Snider
  3. CF  Andrew McCutchen
  4. DH  Garrett Jones
  5. 1B  Gaby Sanchez
  6. CA  Russell Martin
  7. 2B  Neil Walker
  8. 3B  Pedro Alvarez
  9. SS  Jordy Mercer

I am hoping that Pedro actually bats 7th, but I am doubtful.  I’d prefer to see Walker bat 8th to protect him, but I am doubtful of that too.  Mercer stands a very good chance of getting the start at short because he hit so well yesterday and Clint Hurdle has shown to stick with the hot hand at times.  Of course, Hurdle is a bit unpredictable.

The fact that we are looking at our eight-hole hitter being either Alvarez, Snider, or Walker shows how far this lineup has come over the years.  We still have professional hitters on the bench of Michael McKenry, Clint Barmes, Jose Tabata, and Brandon Inge.

Very impressive indeed.

UPDATE:

Lineups announced and Barmes got the nod at short batting 9th.  Snider bats 8th and Walker bats 2nd.  The biggest surprise for me is seeing Pedro batting 6th and being protected by Gaby Sanchez.  I am very pleased to see this.  Martin is hitting 5th.  I’d prefer Mercer over Barmes, but I won’t quibble.  Barmes does get to a lot more ground balls than Mercer does.  Great lineup!

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