After being dominated by Mike Hampton and the Astros on Friday, I was worried when Hunter Pence crushed a two-run homer in the bottom of the first last night. After a sweep of the Mets that included a nice team response to the McLouth trade on Thursday, going into a tailspin against the Astros is one of the worst things that could happen to the Pirates. And to my sanity.
The Pirates bounced right back, though, and put three runs up in the second and third innings, then held on for dear life as the Astros tried to battle back over the rest of the game. The big hit was Andrew McCutchen's only hit of the night, a two-run single in the second inning that put the Pirates in the lead for good. Maybe more importantly, each LaRoche brother reached base three times (two hit and a walk apiece) and Paul Maholm, Brandon Moss, and Jason Jaramillo took turns driving them in.
After the McLouth trade, a lot of people (myself included) said that the trade shouldn't actually make the Pirates as bad this year as people think. Of course, it's easy for us to say that, but they need more nights like last night for it to actually be true.