Look, I remember the epic 13-game losing streak of June 2006. That was a terrible, terrible time to be a Pirate fan. I would really, really like to not have to go through such a thing ever again. We're just five games away from that, so let's nip this in the bud now before things start getting ugly.
Zach Duke and Todd Wellemeyer take the mound at PNC tonight as the Buccos try to end this eight-game streak. Jack Wilson's back in the lineup and Brian Bixler is far, far away from the field, which is good both for the defense and the offense (Bix struck out an insane 15 times in 22 ABs with the Bucs). JR is also giving Robinzon Diaz the start behind the plate, which makes it three starts in four games for Z. He's certainly been killing the ball, but Jaramillo's still acquitting himself well both at the plate and behind it. Still, seeing Diaz in the five slot tonight is a pretty good indication that Russell's confidence is growing in him.
Is the futility of Pirate games ever more obvious than when the Bucs are playing awful and the Penguins are locked in an epic playoff battle? I'd say no.