Pirates recent trips to Texas haven’t fared well. But the zombie goes tonight for Pittsburgh in right-hander Jeff Karstens. The Pirates starter has been written off and left for dead enough times he is catching up with your favorite horror movie villian.
Just last season he was left out of a spring training competition for a starter job, but he never disappeared did he? Now Karstens jumped into the Bucs rotation this year while many people said he wouldn’t be around long.
Often times, it was said, well Karstens can pitch until [insert AAA pitcher here] is ready. Now look at your favorite website and check out the work Karstens has done. The guy just won’t die.
Karstens has pitched like leatherface handles a chainsaw this season and with a Pirates win tonight the team will be back to .500 again. In fact, the Bucs are only five back of the NL Central leading Cardinals and hated Brewers.
Karstens is on a tear. In his last 25 innings pitched he has a 1.44ERA. The last two starts for Karstens, he has allowed just one run in his last 14 innings pitched against the Phillies and Snakes. But Karstens didn’t get anything to show for it on his record.
Meanwhile Houston Astros starter Bud Norris has won his last two starts giving up just seven hits and five runs in his last 14 innings with eight strikeouts.
The Bucs were able to scratch out a 6-1 victory last time against Norris. Karstens hasn’t faced the Astros this season, but on the road this season he has given up 12 earned runs in 20.2 innings pitched.
A good start tonight can start improving those road numbers for the right hander. Fire up the chain saw.