After more than a week of no internet at home and moving across town, I’m now more or less done moving and settled in at a new apartment that again affords me internet access after work hours. That this is done just in time for the Pirates/Dodgers series this weekend is a mixed blessing, I suppose. After the Pirates’ impressive Memorial Day comeback, they’ve (as you almost certainly know) lost two games against the Mets without putting up much of a fight. That drops them back to six games under .500, back to eight games behind the Brewers, back to fourth place in the NL Central.
That’s the exact sort of stumble that I wrote last weekend that I was hoping they’d avoid, and it’s not exactly where you’d want to see them before a four-game set on the road against the wildly expensive and talented (and, to this point at least, underachieving) Dodgers. I suppose the good news for the Pirates is that Clayton Kershaw pitched last night, and so the Bucs will manage to avoid him in this four-game set. The clock continues to tick, though, whether the Pirates play well or not.
Dan Haren starts for the Dodgers tonight, and while he seems to have righted himself a bit after two rough years in 2012 and 2013, he’s not quite the dominant force he used to be back in his Diamondback days. He’s also arguably the Dodgers’ worst starter right now, which means that getting a win against him with Gerrit Cole on the mound seems like a borderline necessity for the Pirates if they want to have any hope of sweeping (or better) this series, Kershaw or no Kershaw. Cole didn’t really out-pitch Stephen Strasburg last Saturday, but he continued his early-season pattern of being consistently just barely good enough, with flashes of brilliance. As before every Gerrit Cole start, I’ll just keep on saying that I hope that he turns a corner sometime soon.
The Pirates play at 10:10 if you’re on the east coast tonight.