The Pirates have lost four in a row, three of those to the Cubs, who are now projected to win approximately 189 games this season after their hot start. The Cubs series is in the past, though, and we have to look to a future in which the Cubs are also looming. But in the immediate future, the Pirates are playing the Cardinals in St. Louis, a city known for its racial equality and overall happiness.
The fact of the matter is that the Pirates can’t let the Cubs series get them down; the Cardinals are also a divisional rival and are a team that is going to challenge for a playoff spot this year, so beating these guys will be a boon to the Pirates’ playoff chances. It’s that simple. I’ve been beating this drum hard all season, but the Pirates really need to take care of business in the division if they want to have a good chance.
Today’s matchup pits Francisco Liriano against Carlos Martinez. The Pirates hit decently well in their four games against Martinez last year, notching wins in two of them. I expect that success to continue given the lineup they’ve assembled this year.
Jung-Ho Kang will be in the lineup at third base for the first time since September. He’s batting sixth behind Cervelli and in front of Harrison. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he fares over the next couple weeks, as his numbers in his rehab starts were not great; he’s also on my fantasy team and I have a bunch of injuries right now, so his positional versatility could maybe lift my team out of the basement of the league if he can step up like he did last season.
First pitch is at 8:15pm EDT. It’s time to get things rolling again against the Central and stop the mini skid the Pirates have been on this week.