I feel like this run of games that the Pirates have against bad teams speak for themselves and I sound like a broken record: the Pirates need to rack up wins, and that’s just all there is to it. These next three games are in St. Pete against a Rays team that’s probably a bit more dangerous than their 31-46 record indicates. The Pirates probably need two wins in these three games to keep pace with an NL Central — the Pirates have actually lost a game against the Brewers, Cardinals, and Reds by winning six of their last ten games, who are all 7-3 in their last ten.
Edinson Volquez starts for the Pirates tonight, and he’s coming off of one of his worst starts as a Pirate against the Reds last week. That, of course, came after probably his best five-game run as a Pirate. It’s fair to say that he remains a bit of a cipher at this point. Alex Cobb goes for the Rays, and you can see from his game log that his last month has been a bit of a roller coaster; an awful start against the Mariners here, a great start against the Astros there, a pretty solid one against the Orioles after that. The Pirate offense has cooled down a bit since their scorching start to their last trip to Florida, and it’d sure help the pitching staff if they could get back to throwing some crooked numbers up on the board.
First pitch tonight is at 7:10.