The Pittsburgh Pirates manager John Russell has made wholesale changes to the lineup. Andrew McCutchen has his familar spot at the top of the Pirates order. Garrett Jones who is slumping has been moved into the important two hole, perhaps he will see a few fastballs tonight?
Jose Tabata who is as hot as a cat on a tin shack is dropped to the over rated three spot. Pedro Alvarez will take his growing homerun total to hit in the clean-up spot.
Alvarez has hit safely in eight of the past nine games going 13-for-32 with three doubles, a homer, and a .719 slugging.
Neil Walker, who can crush doubles, will be behind Pedro in the order. Walker is hitting .380 with RISP. Only one player is better in MLB and that is Josh Hamilton with a .395.
In what would be perceived as a screw the defense let’s load up offense move, Ryan Doumit will be behind the plate and Jeff Clement will be at first base.
So look for the offensively challenged Bucs to put some big numbers on the scored board tonight.