Don't look now, but the Pirates have lost four of their last five games if you go back to last Saturday, and they've lost six of nine if you take things all the way back to the beginning of the Brewers series. This is not a very good trend, to state the obvious.
The good news (if you want to call it that) is that the Pirates don't look like a lifeless husk of a team in losing these games. They're not playing a whole lot worse than they were when they were winning a lot of games, they're just doing enough wrong in a lot of places (the field some nights, the plate others, the dugout etc.) to rack some losses up. The only way to break out of this is mindlessly simple: play better baseball.
Tonight is as good a night as any to start playing better baseball. Wandy Rodriguez is on the mound for the Pirates. Wandy didn't get a win in his last start on Sunday, but he pitched much better than he had in his two starts preceding that one. Let's hope that's the start of a good trend. Shaun Marcum, someone that seemed like a decent fit for the Pirates while the whole Francisco Liriano debacle was happening, is going for the Mets. He dealt with shoulder problems in camp and neck problems after that and in the games he has pitched he's been pretty bad. This is the sort of game that you'd like to see the Pirates win, based on pitching matchup alone.
First pitch tonight is at 7:10.