The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking at a May schedule filled with games against teams that aren’t exactly the cream of the National League. Of course, we choose to ignore the Milwaukee Brewers who the Pirates face seven times this month with four at PNC and three back in the house of horrors.
The Pirates will play 18 home games at PNC Park this month. They have dropped two of those already, and will play the Brewers four times at PNC and three more back at the house of horrors. Other than that, the May schedule doesn’t scare me.
The Mariners for two, on the road for four in New York. Back home for four with Milwaukee, three with Houston and Chicago. Then a trip to Bernie’s Brushburn Slideshow for three with the Brew Crew and two in Detroit before coming back home to close out the month with two against Detroit and welcoming Marty Brennaman and the Reds to town.
The Bucs have won 11 of their last 18 and 14 of their last 22. The team has gone 16-9 in their last 25 games. The team must put up strong numbers in May. There isn’t time for a break, or time to let up as they have consistently done in the past against mediocre competition.
It would certainly help if James McDonald can put the last ten innings of the season behind him, because he looked pathetic in giving up ten runs. At PNC Park, JMac has fared well with a 16-7 record over 234 innings and just 77 earned runs allowed. The right-hander has won six of his past nine. If McDonald can go six innings at PNC, he has been 14-3 with a 1.80 ERA. That would be nice to see tonight.
Despite all of the early exits from their starting staff the Bucs have put up 31 strikeouts in their last three games and are fifth in the league with 248–with A.J. Burnett having a major stake in that pie chart.
If McDonald exits early tonight, the bullpen has been adept at piling up the punchouts with 104, trailing the Diamondbacks by one for the NL lead.
The Pirates offense has been led by Starling Marte who had a monster week with four bombs, eight RBI, seven runs and three stolen bases. Marte has reached base safely in each of his past 15 games piling up 19 hits, five walks, eight steals and 13 runs scored.
Marte has been putting up numbers against some of the better pitchers in the league in some cool temperatures, with the temps warming up in May, let’s trust the Bucs left-fielder can help the Pirates make some hay in May.