The Pirates game yesterday looked much like I would have expected a lot of the games this year for the Pirates to go. Seven strong innings from their starter, a few innings in which they score, contributions from guys later in the lineup, and coasting through the last few innings to a win. Josh Harrison in particular had a great game, going 2-4 with a triple and 2 RBI.
Niese pitched really well; I think this was similar to his previous few starts, but the defense was much stronger behind him than in his prior starts, which led to a seemingly stronger outing. He kept the ball on the ground, getting 12 groundouts by my count:
McCutchen’s first home run of the year was also notable, as was his reaction to it. Hopefully he’s on track to start making baseballs afraid to come near him.
The Pirates roll into the rubber match today with Juan Nicasio on the mound. He had a terrible outing in his last start, but has mostly mowed through offenses all year, so this start will be telling of what type of Nicasio we can expect for the rest of the season. WHYGAVS had a good take, though, in that Nicasio in the bullpen could be a really big asset to help relieve some of the burden on the Pirates’ relievers; simultaneously, though, you want the best guys in the rotation, but if Vogelsong can be an effective starter and Nicasio continues to sputter, his talents might be more useful in the bullpen. I would wait for his next couple starts to pass judgement, though.
First pitch is 1:35pm EDT (so about five minutes from the time of this posting), the Buccos are in the 1979 We Are Fam-a-lee uniforms, and the Brewers are a pretty bad team in a rebuilding year. Getting a win today would be good.