July 25: Pirates (43-53) @ D-backs (41-56)
Odd start time for sure, with tonight’s first pitch being scheduled for 5:10 p.m. local time. I’ll have to get back to you once I decide whether or not I’m a fan of the early evening start.
So just how good has Garrett Jones been? Let’s have the numbers and history tell…
- Jones has 10 home runs in July, a total that ties a club record. And remember, there are still six more games to be played this month. Donn Clendenon (1966) and Ralph Kiner (1950) are the only other two Pirates players to have that many homers in July.
- Not since Jason Bay hit 12 homers in May 2006 has a Pirates player had at least 10 in a month.
- Jones is leading the Majors in home runs this month, with two more than Derrek Lee and three more than Alex Rodriguez. Assuming Jones keeps that lead, he’ll be the first Pirates player since Willie Stargell to lead the Majors in homers/month. Stargell’s 11 homers in April 1971 were a Major-League best.
- Much has been said about Jones struggling a bit with runners on base, but that shouldn’t completely take away from what he’s doing with the bases empty. With no one on, Jones is hitting .447 with 15 extra-base hits. And folks, this is in just 19 games.
- Jones has gone deep an average of once every 7.6 at-bats.
- Though he hasn’t even been in the Majors for a full month yet this year, he already ranks second among all NL rookies with 10 homers.
- He enters Saturday’s game with three straight multi-hit games.
- Jones has a slugging percentage of .842 and on-base percentage of .398 since being called up.
OK, now that I have completely fed Jones’ ego, let’s get onto today’s news, notes and randomness…
- Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez are both back in the lineup on Saturday. As expected, Sanchez’s achy knee only cost him one start. And Wilson makes his first start since Tuesday now that he’s no longer bothered by that nagging hamstring. It can’t help but cross my mind that any one of these games could be the last for these two teaming in the middle infield.
- It’s a good day for both Sanchez and Wilson to return, too, as they have hit Arizona starter Doug Davis quite well in their careers. Sanchez is 17-for-34 against Davis, while Wilson is 15-for-45.
- Hope this isn’t jinxing anything, but the Pirates enter Saturday’s game with a string of 69 straight errorless innings. That’s a season-long streak.
- Movie of choice in the clubhouse today: Talladega Nights. Why is that important? It’s not. But every once and a while I have to justify calling this section of the blog “randomness.”
- With their 10-run output on Friday night, the Bucs have now scored at least 10 runs on nine different occassions this season.
- Those 10 runs also came at an opportune time, as the Pirates are currently running a ticket promotion based on the number of runs Pittsburgh scores on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. More information can be found here, but the most important thing to know is that those $24 tickets for the Pirates’ upcoming series against the Nationals were dropped $10 in price based on Friday’s run total.
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Freddy Sanchez (2B)
- Garrett Jones (RF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Steve Pearce (1B)
- Andy LaRoche (3B)
- Brandon Moss (LF)
- Jack Wilson (SS)
- Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)
- Stephen Drew (SS)
- Gerardo Parra (CF)
- Justin Upton (RF)
- Mark Reynolds (3B)
- Miguel Montero (C)
- Chad Tracy (1B)
- Alex Romero (LF)
- Augie Ojeda (2B)
- Doug Davis (LHP)
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