The Pirates play a weirdly timed 4:15 PM EDT today, presumably because the FOX games are at 1 PM this weekend. Last night did not go well for the Pirates, obviously. Jonathan Sanchez faced four batters, retired none, and got thrown out. Clint Hurdle got thrown out protesting Sanchez's ejection (obviously arguing that there's no way Jonathan Sanchez has good enough control to hit anyone intentionally). When Starling Marte got hit by his second pitch of the game in the fifth inning without a compensatory ejection on the Cardinals' side, Jay Bell got thrown out of the game, too. To top it all off, Neil Walker injured his hand in the eighth inning trying to break up a double play, resulting in some stiches that will require him to miss a week. Also, they lost 9-1.
Anyway, AJ Burnett starts today and given his reputation and yesterday's goings-on, he will be immediately ejected if he so much as grazes a Cardinal player's shirt. Jake Westbrook is pitching for the Cardinals, which means that if he beans nine Pirate batters in a row directly in the nose, he will still be allowed to face a tenth. This is how baseball works right now, and the only way the Pirates can change it is to win enough games to be afforded the respect the Cardinals are given by the umpires. This is not a joke: if you want the Pirates to "man up and get revenge" or whatever foolishness today, AJ Burnett is not the pitcher to do that because he won't be given any leeway and the bullpen cannot handle another long afternoon. I would much rather see the Pirates go out and score more runs than the Cardinals. That always seems like the best form of revenge to me.
First pitch today is at 4:15.