When the Pirates kicked off this make-or-break 20-games-in-20-days stretch a week ago, I figured in my head that if they went 12-8 over this stretch that they’d be in really good shape. 12-8 over these 20 games would give them 72 wins on August 23rd and it’d put them 20 games over .500. They didn’t get off to a great start in dropping two of three to the Reds, but taking three from the Diamondbacks would mean that they’d just have to go 8-5 against the Dodgers, Padres, Cardinals, and Padres to hit the 12-8 plateau. Not easy, but definitely doable.
Winning three of four from Arizona requires a win this afternoon. Wandy Rodriguez is making his third Pirate start today; he pitched pretty poorly in his first start against the Astros, but the Pirates won. He pitched quite well in his second start against the Reds, but the Pirates lost. He goes up against Joe Saunders, who is a lefty, which means that Pedro Alvarez is not in the lineup today and Josh Harrison is batting second. At least Mike McKenry and Jordy Mercer are both playing today.
The start time today is 4:05, which is weird but seems like it would be kind of awesome if I lived in Pittsburgh. Alas, I am at a desk in a lab in North Carolina.