Though the Pirates initially declined to name their starting pitcher for Tuesday's rematch against the Giants, the identity of that mystery hurler was fairly obvious.
Pittsburgh's starter will be right-hander Wilfredo Boscan, who until a few days ago believed he would be performing for the Pirates' Triple-A Indianapolis farm club at Gwinnett. Instead, he'll be recalled and confront the National League West-leading Giants, who'll counter with All-Star candidate Johnny Cueto.
This promises to be a study in contrasts. Boscan will be making his first Major League start. Cueto is scheduled to make his 241st. Facing Cueto will continue a trend for the Pirates, who over the last three weeks will have faced six of the NL's top 10 ERA leaders: the Marlins' Jose Fernandez, the Mets' Noah Syndergaard, the Cubs' Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, and now the Giants' Madison Bumgarner and Cueto.
Things to know about this game
• Boscan was called up by the Pirates three times last season. Each time, he was sent back to the Minors without throwing a pitch. He finally made his big league debut May 19.
• The Pirates' confrontations with top starters likely will continue this weekend, when they're scheduled to face Dodgers mega-ace Clayton Kershaw.
"I love that aspect of it," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Every day brings a new opportunity and it's against some very elite talent from time to time."
• Cueto is 10-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 16 career starts at PNC Park. His 18 wins vs. the Pirates lead all active pitchers, and he's 7-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last 11 outings against Pittsburgh.