A National League playoff spot exists and is there for the Pirates to take it, but doing so is going to require the Pirates to play better baseball than they’ve played over the last week or so. There were some signs of life at the end of the Cubs’ series and in Cincinnati, but I think that an 11-game homestand with eight games against two playoff contenders (Diamondbacks, Dodgers) is a pretty big deal.
That stretch kicks off tonight against the Diamondbacks, as Clint Hurdle trots out what looks on paper to be the most ineffectual lineup possible against Wade Miley. Miley’s having an awfully good first season this year, throwing strikes and keeping the ball on the ground. Erik Bedard goes for the Pirates, looking to shake off all of the home runs he gave up at Wrigley Field last week.
First pitch is at 7:05.