The rivalry between the Pirates and the Brewers has become more heated this season than ever before, both in the standings and on the field.
Buccos fans now have their own reason for turning up the heat, and their own way to do so: At the ballot box.
According to the latest update of voting for next month's All-Star Game, Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez leads for the final starting spot in the National League's outfield -- by merely 1,658 voted over Andrew McCutchen.
That should sound as the siren call for Pirates fans to start punching out holes in paper ballots, overheat their computer mice, or work up fingertip callouses on their mobiles.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 14.
Second baseman Neil Walker, Pittsburgh's only other player on the NL leader board, gained on Dee Gordon, trailing his Dodgers counterpart by 121,558 votes. However, Gordon is only the runner-up at the position, with Philadelphia's Chase Utley maintaining a commanding lead with a vote total of 1,342,480.
In the outfield, Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig is the overall leader with 1,472,717 votes, but he's atop an extremely crowded field. Puig is followed by Miami's Giancarlo Stanton (1,259,047), then Gomez and McCutchen are trailed by Charlie Blackmon (1,129,313) of Colorado and the Brewers' Ryan Braun (1,058,680).
The 2014 All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5-6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. The AL will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL will have eight fan-elected starters. Pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the A.L. -- will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Mike Matheny (NL) and John Farrell (AL).
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, you can select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Choose again at that point from among five players in each league. The Final Vote returns for its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast to date, and you'll be able to make selections on MLB.com, club sites and your mobile device.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the big game, vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi. The fan voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.
For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.