Pirates Starting Well Against Easy May Schedule, Must Continue Against Astros
May 15, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (18) greets Pittsburgh Pirates outfielders Starling Marte (6) and Andrew McCutchen (22) and Travis Snider (right) after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Pirates won again last night, taking a 7-1 victory over the Brewers, to complete the four game series they played with the Brew Crew. Liriano put in a very nice start (5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks, 3 BB), Snider hit his first home run, an absolute bomb that went an estimated 458 feet, which you can see here, and the Pirates had a big sixth inning rally, scoring four runs on five hits.
Suffice to say, the Pirates won this game pretty easily, even though it was tight until the rally in the sixth. The Pirates have been playing good baseball of late, too. The Pirates are 9-5 so far through the month of May, against a fairly soft schedule so far (except a series with the Nationals).
Good news for the Pirates is that the schedule is expected to get even softer over the next week, with two three game series, one with the Astros, and the other with the Cubs. While neither one of these teams should strike great fear in the heart of any solid baseball team, the Pirates absolutely need to take at least four of the six games that they split between the two teams. The Pirates have played surprisingly well against teams with winning records this season, but have struggled some against the lower quality teams in the league, seemingly playing to the level of their competition more than we’d like to see.
The Cardinals appear to have an easy schedule for the rest of the month, so for the Pirates to keep pace right now, they really must take care of the bad teams that they get an opportunity to face. Winning baseball teams (which we haven’t seen in twenty years in Pittsburgh) take care of business against teams that they’re supposed to beat.
The next step for the Pirates to get out of this awful black hole of the last two decades is to start beating the bad teams on a consistent basis. They get their first opportunity to do so tonight at 7:05 against the Astros, with Jeanmar Gomez on the hill.