It's easy to look at today's game and see Jonathan Sanchez and Kris Medlen on the mound and to say, "Well, the Pirates are 6-2 on this homestand already and they took two games in a row from a team that only lost twice in their first 15 games and so a loss this afternoon wouldn't be the end of the world." That's all true, of course, but it doesn't stop me from wanting to see even more from the Pirates.
As much as the Pirates have tried to prove otherwise in 2011 and 2012, games in April count just as much in the final standings as games in August and September. The Pirates are playing really good baseball right now; they're getting hits from all over the lineup, they're fielding well, the bullpen has been mostly lights out, and even the questionable rotation has been solid more often than it's been shaky. These things don't hold true for 162 games, even for the best teams in baseball. That means that when a team is playing well, it's important to win as many games as possible.
Medlen vs. Sanchez is a mismatch, make no mistakes about it. But Medlen has a been a little more human this year than he was last year. In his 19 innings, he's only got nine strikeouts and he's given up 15 hits and walked six batters against the less-than-stellar competition of the Phillies, Marlins, and Royals. He hasn't given up a ton of runs yet, but maybe the Pirates can make some headway against him this afternoon. They did figure out Maholm last night, after all.
First pitch today is at 1:35.