The Pirates are starting to play like they need to play to win ball games and compete for the division with the lone exception of Garret Jones, who is at least showing some minor signs of life.
Their carrier, Andrew McCutchen is doing just that, carrying the team. He is hovering around .300 and stealing bases (an 0-4 night dropped him to .290 tonight).
Their RBI guy, Ryan Doumit is doing just that, knocking in RBIs. He had two big homeruns in the last games of the Brewers series, and tonight a triple got him two more RBIs. On a night when the Pirates only got 5 hits, they needed to get the hit when runners were on base, and Doumit did just that.
Their streaky hitter, Milledge, is doing just that hitting in fits. His overall average is a little low. You would like to see him have a few more hot streaks, but he did have a nice one that helped pull the sweep against the Reds off earlier this year. He had a hit and a walk tonight in a the leadoff spot. Not a good spot for him, but whatever. We won.
Jones, their long ball threat, is the one not doing his job. Jones is only hitting a sparse .211, but even that is up. Jones had an RBI hit to win the final game against the Brewers, and tonight he picked up a hit. Hopefully, he will find the groove and the ball will start leaving the yard again.
Part of the reason the Pirates are now only two games under .500 is Andy LaRoche. He came back from his back spasms on fire. He is hitting over .350. No hits tonight, but he got a walk and scored. His glove is always great and having him hitting is a nice bonus.
The recent change has been in the pitching. Karstens really pitched great. Malholm was not over powering, but did a decent job. 4 runs in seven. That is consistent enough. D.J. Carrasco pitching three innings last night and that was what the Pirates needed. And tonight was an amazing performance by Brian Burres. He went 5 1/3 of four hit shut out baseball. Jack Taschner pitched 2 2/3 to save the rest of the pen, which is overworked. And then Evan Meek showed he will be the closer next year and be Moskos's main competition in a few years. Meek got his first career save.
Congrats to Evan Meek and the Pirates. Keep rollin boys!
Spring Training Thread: Nick Kingham faces Twins
23 hours ago