After an interminable off day today watching some of the Pirates potential Wild Card opponents win in routs (and also watching that incredible national championship game), Pirates baseball is back tomorrow. Jon Niese makes his first start in a Pirate uniform, which coincides with his first start since September 21, prior to the Mets’ run to the World Series last season. His opponent on the mound is Michael Wacha, who really should have a nickname mocking his real name at this point. Maybe Wacha Flacha Lame, or something similarly catchy.
Niese’s first start as a Pirate is one to watch. He’s a big part of the Pirates plans this year; having a solid #2/#3 guy behind #1 Cole and #1a Liriano will be a big swing of the pendulum for the Pirates’ playoff hopes. Having Niese underperform will be a big swing in the opposite direction. He gave up some hard hit balls this spring, but hopefully he was just working on some mechanical things that have been ironed out and he’s ready for this start today.
First pitch is a 7:05pm EDT tonight from PNC Park. Keep the momentum going and win another intradivisional game.