Since I am out of town for much of the rest of the week I was unable to watch the Pirates games, but that still doesn't mean I don't have some thoughts on their latest run with .500.
I am actually in Indianapolis until Friday night and unfortunately for me the Indians are out of town. Last night they finished up a three game set and I got to my hotel (which is feet away from Victory Field) just as the final out was being recorded in the bottom of the ninth of a 4-0 loss. That being said I did not get to see Alex Presley or anyone that might (should) be on the team for the interleague series against Cleveland.
Although I couldn't watch Indy play I was glued to my phone as the Pirates held on to a 1-0 lead for almost the entire game. The people who I was with are mainly Brewers/Cubs/Cardinals fans so they are laughing at me that I have so much vested interest in a Pirates/Astros game but I didn't care.
Jeff Karstens once again untouchable as he evened his record to 4-4 on the season. He went 6.2 innings and scattered three hits while walking none over 87 pitches. He lowered his ERA to a slim 2.66 which now ranks him in the top-five in the National League in that category. Unreal stuff. I mean before the season I wrote that Karstens was very valuable in his role and that he was a type of guy that every team loves to have. You need a good long guy that can come and give you serviceable spot starts, but he does way more than that. To be honest he might be the best guy on our staff right now and his 4-4 record is in no way indicative of how this guy has pitched.
Hunter Pence came in with a league best hitting streak of 23 games and he came up in the ninth inning looking for a hit off of Joel Hanrahan. Ha ha, good luck. Hit streak, snapped.
On the other side Andrew McCutchen went 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a six inning single.
Garrett Jones seems to be heating up as he went 2-for-3 and accounted for the only RBI of the day in the second inning to score Neil Walker, who also went 2-for-3. Walker really needs this after being in a pretty bad slump where his average dropped around .250 but it seems to be creeping back up. If the Pirates can get those two guys going, along with McCutchen and Jose Tabata (who went 1-for-5) they could have a pretty nice offense going.
The Pirates will look to be over .500 this far into the season (after June 1) for the first time since August 15, 1999. That is a long time ago and it would be pretty cool to beat Houston and get over the hump.
Another 8:05 p.m. start tonight from Houston when Chuck Morton gets the nod.