I’ve been preaching “patience is a virtue” for a while now with this recent Pirate slump. The fact of the present, though, is that if the Pirates don’t start playing good baseball in a hurry here at the end of August, they’re going to have to play really good baseball in September to make up for the ground they’ll lose to the Dodgers and Cardinals this week. That means better baserunning, that means unexpected relievers stepping up, that means better hitting and pitching in general. Even with two wild cards, playoff spots aren’t just handed out for free.
Tonight that means getting a strong start from Kevin Correia and parlaying that into a win. The Pirates have won Correia’s last six starts, which seems pretty improbable to me. He goes up against Chad Billingsley, whos’ been a bit better than his 3.84 ERA indicates this year and is the type of pitcher that gives the Pirates trouble when they’re not hitting well. I’ve got a bad feeling about this, as the fictional space opera characters are saying these days. First pitch tonight is at 7:05.