Normally, I'd be plenty happy with two wins in three games on the road, particularly on the West Coast with AL rules against a decent offense like the Angels with a ton of pitchers on the disabled list. Here's the thing, though: Joe Blanton is starting for the Angels today. Joe Blanton has served up taters like a lunch lady this year. He's got a 5.62 ERA and the Angels have only won twice in his 14 starts.
This is a refrain that I hope to be able to repeat quite a bit over the next couple of months: Do not settle. Fifteen games over .500 and the second-best record in baseball is nice, but 16 games over .500 would be better and the best record in all of baseball would be even better than that. The Pirates should beat Joe Blanton.
Charlie Morton makes his third post-TJ start today. As usual, velocity and pitch selection are worth keeping an eye on. Tony Sanchez is making his big league debut as the Pirates' DH. The kid's been through a lot in the minors. I'm happy for him. First pitch today is at 3:35.
There’s no denying that even after Pedro Alvarez’s explosion in Cleveland over the weekend, that the Pirates had a rough week. They lost four of six games and they lost Charlie Morton for the season. Still, they came through it with a 34-31 record and now they get to return to the friendly confines of PNC Park, and on top of it all, the Twins are waiting for them. The Twins are pretty lousy this year, with their 26-39 record and their team ERA+ of 79. If the Pirates are going to continue their quest for relevance this year, it seems to me that the best way to do it is to avoid losing games to teams like the Twins.
Kevin Correia makes yet another start that someone will call his potential last start of 2012, though we all know that’s probably not true. He’ll face off against a guy named Scott Diamond. That is apparently really his name and definitely not the name of the spy that he pretended to be when he was eight years old, running around his back yard with gunfingers, hiding underneath the rhodedendron. First pitch tonight is at 7:05.