After a nice start to their ten-game road trip, the Pirates are now entering the portion of the trip that I'm most interested in: six games in St. Louis and Milwaukee. The division has a new shape this year without the Astros in it and how the Pirates play the NL Central teams is going to go a long ways towards deciding how 2013 shakes out for the Pirates.
Plus if the Pirates can take two of three this weekend they'll find themselves in first place on Monday and I know that it's only April but I'd rather be in first place than not be in first place. Of course things get off to a worrisome start tonight with Jonathan Sanchez taking the mound in what could be his last start as a Pirate (Francisco Liriano was pretty awesome in Indianapolis last night, though I'm guessing that he might not join the club until after an off-day resets the rotation after the Milwaukee series, so Sanchez may get one more start) against Lance Lynn. On the other hand, the Pirates have won six of their last seven games against Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm and Kris Medlen and Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, so who cares about the starting pitching matchup?
That's a silly thing to say. I care about it. Hold on to your butts. We've all almost made it through the Jonathan Sanchez era together. First pitch tonight is at 8:15