The Pirates are seven games over .500. A win tonight would put them into uncharted territory north of .500; the last time the Pirates were at least eight games over .500, they were 30 games over .500 on the last day of the 1992 season. This is the sort of thing that I find to be both exhilarating and depressing all at the same time.
To put the Pirates into this unmapped stratosphere, AJ Burnett will look to notch a win for his ninth straight start. Burnett’s won every single time he’s taken the ball since May 8th, putting up a 2.18 ERA in his eight straight wins. I keep thinking that eventually he’s going to have to hit a patch of bad luck, even if he pitches well, but it somehow hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully tonight won’t be that night either. The Astros go with Lucas Harrell tonight. Harrell’s having a pretty decent year thanks to a high groundball rate, but he doesn’t strike a ton of guys out and the high-K guys are the ones that seem to give the Pirates the most trouble.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05, as the Pirates try to kick off the holiday in style.