The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost the first two games of this three-game series in Denver against the Colorado Rockies. They lost both games, but both games were very different. In the first game, the Rockies jumped on the Pirates’ best pitcher, Francisco Liriano, for 10 runs very quickly, ending the game before it even started. In Saturday night’s game, the Pirates jumped to an early 3-1 lead, giving A.J. Burnett something he wasn’t used to — run support. Burnett would eventually give up the lead and the Pirates couldn’t get it back.
On Sunday afternoon, Jeff Locke will take on Rockies’ rookie Chad Bettis. Locke would seem to have the advantage against Bettis, as the rookie has only made two starts and he has more walks than strikeouts. Avoiding the sweep is crucial for the Pirates. Starting on Tuesday, the Pirates will travel to St. Louis to begin a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, who are currently four games behind the Pirates in the National League Central. Beating teams that are below .500 is extremely important for teams like the Pirates that are seemingly over-achieving thanks to unexpected production from several players.
It’s getting to the point in the season where we will truly find out what these Pirates are made of. It’s time for a legitimate pennant race between the Bucs and the Cardinals. It’s just a matter of finding out who will win the race; will it be the experienced, heavily-favored Cardinals, or will it be the upstart Pirates that the entire baseball world seems to be rooting for?