Much is being made of the Pirates' 4-38 record in Miller Park since 2007 entering this series. But the past should not haunt the present club: None of the players who were with the club when that stretch began remain. The only Pittsburgh player on the '07 team still part of the rivalry is Nyjer Morgan -- on the other side.
Andrew McCutchen had a fabulous month of May -- batting .360, with an OPS of 1.134 on the strength of eight homers -- but has little chance of bagging his first National League Player of the Month Award. He has stiff competition from Miami's Giancarlo Stanton (.343 with 12 homers and 30 RBIs) and San Francisco's Melky Cabrera (.429 with 51 hits).
As a precursor for next week's 2012 First-Year Player Draft, the Bucs' top picks in each of the last two drafts have just been named to the Florida State League All-Star team. Bradenton teammates Gerrit Cole (4-1, 2.47) and Jameson Taillon (3-4, 3.29) share the honor. Between them, the right-handers have 98 strikeouts in 103 innings.
The Bucs have tripled in three consecutive games, and four out of their last five -- but have not hit a home run in eight of their last nine games.
Brad Lincoln was working on a streak of 15 consecutive batters retired until Nyjer Morgan welcomed him in the eighth inning with a double.