Pirates Take Two Of Three From Astros In Weird Series, Cubs Next


May 19, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez (right) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Looking back at this series, you can’t help but notice how strange it was. The three games were decided by a dropped pop-up (game one), Mark Melancon with a rare bad outing allowing the Astros to extend game two, leading to an extra innings win, and the Pirates winning game three 1-0, on an opposite field home run by Pedro Alvarez. Yes, you read that correctly, Pedro Alvarez hit a ball out of the park to left field.

We didn’t expect a sweep of the Astros, but two of three is fine. The same expectations and hopes are held for the Cubs series. If the Pirates take two of three from the Cubs, they’ll have done their job against the weakest part of their schedule for the month of May. Matt Garza will start game one of the series, and I like the Pirates chances against him.

The Pirates batting average as a team against Garza is .295 over the course of his career. Garza does have an excellent K/BB ratio against the Pirates (25/3), but given the Pirates relatively high team average against him, their chances should be pretty good to open the series.

Wandy Rodriguez will get the start for the Pirates in the first game of the series, and his last two starts have been stellar, totaling thirteen innings and only giving up two runs over those starts.Wandy has dealt in his last few chances, so let’s hope his hand stays hot tomorrow night as well.

The Pirates have to take two of the three they play with the Cubs, not just to keep pace with the Reds and Cardinals right now, but because a three game series at the house of horrors is next. Oh, I’m not looking forward to that. The Pirates wins against the Astros were weird, but as long as they keep winning baseball games, it doesn’t matter how they do it.