Pre-game: Harrison, McCutchen out, McKenry in


Josh Harrison will sit out for a second straight game tonight with a tight right oblique muscle, but said he felt a lot better today than he did on Sunday.

He is still unavailable for tonight’s wrap-up against the Mets, and as far as Harrison knew was not going to be allowed to swing the bat again today.

Manager Clint Hurdle said they plan to get him on the field on Wednesday, and they should know at that time whether he’s close or if they’ll have to explore putting him on the disabled list.

If he does go on the DL, Hurdle said that Chase d’Arnaud is one of the players they’ve discussed bringing up from Triple-A.

Decimating the offense even more, Andrew McCutchen won’t play tonight, either. Hurdle gave him the day off, despite McCutchen leading all National League player in hits in 11 games in June, going 20 for 41 with five doubles, a home run, 10 RBI and nine runs scored. He’s also on a career-best 11-game hitting streak, the longest by a Pirates player this year.

Hurdle’s well aware of how well McCutchen’s hitting, and even added that he’s 6 for 12 lifetime against Mets starter Mike Pelfrey (along with two walks and no strikeouts). Here’s his explanation for the game off:
“It’s a day off we talked about for a while. He’s sitting at 62 games and he’s red-lining a little bit. The guys were laughing, they think it’s a guaranteed win because both games he sat we won. … One thing we’ve tried to do is find time for guys. After yesterday’s game he knew (he’d be off). (With the day game on Sunday) it’s an opportunity to take advantage of a larger window of down time.”

McCutchen will be available for pinch-hitting duty, and new catcher Michael McKenry will make his Pirates debut tonight.

Here are the lineups:
Pirates — Tabata 7, Paul 8, Walker 4, Jones 9, Overbay 3, Wood 5, McKenry 2, Cedeno 6, Maholm 1

Mets — Reyes 6, Turner 5, Beltran 9, Pagan 8, Bay 7, Paulino 2, Murphy 3, Tejada 4, Pelfrey 1