The Pirates’ road trip got ugly after they left Wrigley Field last week, so the good news is that they’re back at PNC Park for a week starting tonight. They’re playing the same two Brewers and Reds teams that they dropped six of seven to on the road, of course, but I suppose we can always start with the positive news and hope for the best.
The Bucs send Edinson Volquez, their best pitcher to this point of 2014 (gulp) to the mound tonight to face Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo’s velocity is almost completely gone at this point in his career, but his groundball rate is climbing and he’s turned himself into what looks like a pretty effective, if different, pitcher. He certainly didn’t have much trouble with the Pirates in Miller Park last week, though they did become the first team to score on him in 2014 when they pushed across two runs in the third inning.
As I wrote last night, I’m pretty wary of how the Pirates have played thus far in 2014. I’d certainly like to see an improved performance at PNC against the Brewers and Reds over the next seven days. The first pitch tonight is at 7:05.