Hoo boy. Nothing like the bullpen blowing the last couple games on a road trip and returning home to face the hottest team in the league. But here we are.
I will say one thing for lowered expectations. Painful losses are not nearly as painful. Yeah, it sucks to see the Bravos’ pen squander yet another lead, especially a six-run cushion. But when you don’t expect to contend, anyway, it stings less. For the fans, that is. I suspect the players are as pissed as they’d be if they’d been picked to win it all.
In come the Pirates, having won 10 of 12. I like Andrew McCutchen. And it’s hard to dislike a team that’s been bad for the better part of a quarter century. They’ll send ex-Bravo Chas Morton to the hill. He’s been hurt most of the season but has been good in two starts since coming off the DL. Morton has had a mediocre big league career but has had stretches of excellence. Let’s hope tonight does not contribute to such a stretch.
Williams Perez hurls for our side. He’s been good, of course. Yet, much as I hate it, I’ve a nagging sense that he’s due a bad one. Let’s hope I’m wrong. In other bad news, Peterson has a bruised thumb and won’t play the first two games of this series.
Playing tonight: Maybin, Simmons, Freeman, Markakis, Uribe, Pierzynski, Cunningham, Ciriaco 2B, Perez.