PITTSBURGH — With the hubbub of the Andrew McCutchen return in the rear view, the Pirates can look forward to a more routine evening at PNC Park.
Actually, they might hope for more extraordinary events, at least in terms of attendance. Last night’s paid crowd of over 34,000 was the largest of the season on the North Shore, with tonight and Sunday expected to draw similarly robust congregations.
These players can talk all they want about treating every game the same, but Friday night had to have been a nice changeup, no matter the reason for the almost-full house.
Here’s more from Alan Saunders on what a noteworthy series opener could mean for the streaking Pirates:
Another Josh Harrison update: The Pirates’ spark plug infielder says he feels almost ready for a full-fledged rehab assignment after taking batting practice Friday with no lingering aftereffects in his healing right hand.
Harrison told reporters Saturday that he will face higher velocities in batting practice this weekend, with the hope of getting down to Triple-A Indianapolis at some point soon.
He was expected to miss four to six weeks with a broken fifth metacarpal (pinky) that resulted from a hit-by-pitch in Miami on April 15.
”If you leave it up to me,” Harrison said, “I’ll be leaving soon.”
As for Jameson Taillon, Clint Hurdle said the Pirates are waiting a couple days to see how the righty’s finger laceration heals before making a call on whether he can make his scheduled start Wednesday against the White Sox.
Finally, Joe Musgrove makes a rehab start tonight with Indianapolis.
Fresh off what might’ve been the best start of his Pirates career on Sunday in Milwaukee, Chad Kuhl will be backed up by the following lineup …
The lineup for tonight, presented by Honda.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 12, 2018
And, for the slumping Giants, here’s Bruce Bochy’s starting nine …
Saturday baseball on the way! First pitch – 4:05 PM PDT ⚾️
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 12, 2018
I could lie and say they’ll get this game in with no problem, but the air mass over Western Pennsylvania is rather unstable today. (I always wanted to be a TV weatherman; that sounds like something one might say.)
Per Weather.com, we’re looking at about a 60 percent chance of a thunderstorm at game time, with temperatures dropping from the mid-70s to the mid-60s through the evening. Look for moderate winds out of the northwest, which could push back some fly balls to left field.