If you remember back to last Sunday, what I wanted was for the Pirates to play a solid game from start to finish, get a nice, comfortable lead, and win by a score of, say, 4-1. They finally did more or less just that yesterday, nearly a week after I was hoping for it. I didn’t really want Francisco Liriano to leave the game with flu symptoms and scare the crap out of all Pirate fans anywhere, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.
The only way to erase a bad stretch is to piece things together one game at a time, so now the challenge is for the Pirates to play two solid games in a row. They literally haven’t won two straight games by more than one run at any point in this young season, so I’d say that that’s a nice goal to have for today. It won’t be easy, since Adam Wainwright is going for the Cardinals. Edinson Volquez goes for the Bucs, looking to continue his improbably great start to 2014.
Because Stolmy Pimentel pitched a bunch yesterday, the Pirates sent Jared Hughes back down to the minors (his week: called up on Monday, sent down on Thursday, called up on Friday, sent down on Sunday) this morning and recalled Casey Sadler to take his place. Sadler was otherwise scheduled to start for Indianapolis today, so it seems like a safe bet that he’s being called up to take the Stolmy Pimentel long relief role for a few days while Stolmy recovers from his 2 2/3 inning outing yesterday. Given the composition of the 40-man roster and the rule that says Hughes can’t be yo-yo’d back up without another injury, I’d guess that we’ll see Duke Welker with the Pirates after a couple of days while Sadler goes back down to continue starting (though all bets are off if Liriano ends up on the disabled list, though that seems unlikely at this point).
Anyway, it’s Volquez and Wainwright at 2:20 today. Tony Sanchez is starting again, so it looks like he’ll get most of the playing time while Russell Martin is out. That’s a good thing.