With the Penguins kicking their playoff season off tonight at Mellon Arena, the Pirates face the prospect of becoming completely anonymous in their own home town for the next few weeks/months. The baseball games, however, will march on and at least some of us will still be paying attention.
Tonight's a pretty important game for the Pirates in that Ross Ohlendorf is taking the mound tonight and I think he's a pretty important pitcher to their chances of relative success this year. He had a solid first outing against the Cardinals that was mostly attributed to his sinker, but I'd either like to see more strikeouts (he had just one in six innings) or more ground outs before I'm ready to agree with that. His mound opponent is Mike Hampton, who is lucky the Astros exist to give him a job this year. If he takes the mound and throws pitches, I feel like that has to be considered a small victory for Houston, no matter what happens on the field tonight.
And if you remember any of my previews from last year, you know that whenever I write a preview that slants heavily towards one way of thinking, the exact opposite takes place. So go ahead and write it down: Astros 11, Pirates 0. This one's already in the bank.