Everytime I think I'm out, they keep pulling me back in! I think it's safe to say that, as a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. The Pirates came into Thursday afternoon's contest against the Dodgers having lost six of seven games. Los Angeles won the first three games of the four game series and completely mandhandled Pittsburgh the past two nights by a combined score of 20-3.
The Pirates, who held a 4.5 game lead in the wild card standings just two weeks ago, started the day tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the second spot in the National League.
Thankfully, the Pirates have ace A.J. Burnett, and for the third time in the last two and a half weeks, the 35 year old bulldog of a pitcher was called upon to end a Pirates losing streak.
Burnett came through again today. He didn't have his best stuff, but he pitched 6 2/3 innings and left with the Pirates ahead, 8-6, in what would eventually be a much needed 10-6 Pirates win.
Garrett Jones, who is quietly having a great season, was the real hero today. He hit two home runs (numbers 19 and 20) and had six runs batted in to up his total in that department to 64 for the season.
It's nice that the Pirates were able to salvage yet another series, but this salvaging business is getting out of hand. First, they had to salvage the final game of the Reds series two Sundays ago. This past Sunday, they salvaged the final game of the Padres series. And now, today, they avoided a four-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers by salvaging the matinee at PNC Park.
The Pirates are hanging in there, but they really need to get on a roll soon. They open up a three-game series in St. Louis starting tomorrow. It's time that the Pirates salvage whatever confidence they have left and start putting other teams in positions where they must avoid a sweep by trying to salvage the final game of a series. What better time to start that than this weekend in St. Louis?