What’s been really nice about the last two days for the Pirates is that they suddenly, if only for a couple days, resemble the early-season Pirates again. Last night was a full-team effort; with Brad Lincoln making a kind of shaky start the Pirates needed four relievers to close the door and Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, and Jason Grilli were all excellent while Jose Veras threw some ridiculous curveballs and also gave up a run (story of his season right there). Josh Harrison blasted the ball all over the park in going 4-for-5 and the Pirates peppered a bunch of sac flies through the night and took their second in a row at home, ensuring a losing season for the Reds and picking up their 71st win.
They close down PNC Park today with James McDonald on the mound against Dontrelle Willis. McDonald’s had some rough starts of late and it’d be nice to see him close out 2011 on a strong note. The Reds are sending Dontrelle Willis to the mound. After a strong start, he’s come back to earth some and he got pounded in his last start, which was almost two weeks ago. If the Pirates can take some walks, I think there’s a chance they’ll be OK today.
First pitch is at 1:35. A win today gives the Pirates 37 wins at PNC this year.