It’s never fun when the Pirates go out west and play super-late games, but at least tonight playing at 10:10 has the added benefit of not going directly head-to-head with Game 1 of the Penguins/Flyers series. Erik Bedard gets his second Pirate start tonight against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers.
We’re all waiting to see the first breath of life from the Pirates’ offense this year and it’s true that the Pirates have had some stiff competition early in the year, but it’s also true that there are a lot of good pitchers in the National League this year and that just because they won’t face Halladay/Lee/Kershaw every single day of the week doesn’t mean things will get a whole ton easier for them. Billingsley’s not a bad starter himself, the Bucs head to San Francisco this weekend, they could see Ian Kennedy in Arizona, and I could keep going on and on. The opposition is an easy excuse now, but it’s not something that you can lean on all year.
That said, the Bucs looked pretty good on Sunday against Vance Worley and he’s not a bad pitcher himself. I’d certainly put Billingsley in a class closer to Worley than to Halladay/Lee/Kershaw. And I’m not saying that the bats won’t get going, just warning that the opposition will pretty much always be a convenient excuse.
First pitch tonight is at 10:10.