A National League playoff spot exists and is there for the Pirates to take it, but doing so is going to require the Pirates to play better baseball than they've played over the last week or so. There were some signs of life at the end of the Cubs' series and in Cincinnati, but I think that an 11-game homestand with eight games against two playoff contenders (Diamondbacks, Dodgers) is a pretty big deal.
That stretch kicks off tonight against the Diamondbacks, as Clint Hurdle trots out what looks on paper to be the most ineffectual lineup possible against Wade Miley. Miley's having an awfully good first season this year, throwing strikes and keeping the ball on the ground. Erik Bedard goes for the Pirates, looking to shake off all of the home runs he gave up at Wrigley Field last week.
First pitch is at 7:05.
Cutch was lucky that the throw to second was so bad, he would have been out by a mile. I think he was a little on tilt with how the last few days panned out, but in the end we got the win.
Hell of an outing by Bedard,
Good win. Frustrating at times, and watching Barmes swing at ball 4 and Harrison swing at a pitch about 22 feet out of the strike zone is vomit inducing, but Bedard was excellent, and that was very encouraging. Barajas is poetry in motion--Vogon poetry.
Here's where I dislike the usual convention of leaving a pitcher out there until he gets into trouble. No matter what happens for the rest of the night, big ups to Bedard.
First time I've looked at a lineup all year and thought, "What the heck?" But some guys need a rest, it's a long stretch that's just started. Harrison's been hot, and Alvarez has been cold, so there's that. What do I know? I guess we'll find out by about 11PM or so.