Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Rangers come to town

Prince Fielder rounds the bases as Vicente Padilla stares into the distance - AP Photo/LM Otero

Interleague play continues tonight, as the Pirates welcome the Texas Rangers to PNC Park. Our Bucs were swept by the Yankees over the weekend in their first interleague series of 2007. For those of you keeping track at home, the Pirates are now 10-32 against the American League since the beginning of the 2004 season. Ouch.

The Rangers come to town boasting a Major League worst 23-40 record. Their offense is average (.322 OBP, .420 SLG) and their pitching is terrible (5.48 ERA, 1.57 WHIP). The Pirates are struggling right now and the season looks as if it might free-fall out of control at any moment. A series with the Rangers seems like the perfect elixir for what ails the Bucs. A couple of solid wins (or something ridiculous like a sweep) would go a long way towards healing some painful wounds from this past weekend. That would help build some confidence, and with the White Sox bringing their woeful offense into town this weekend, could help salvage what seems like a lost season right now.

Or, as Pat points out, this could simply be a repeat of the embarrassing series with the Royals last season. Either way, this might be the most critical point of the season.

Tonight it is Zach Duke (2-6, 5.75 ERA, 1.68 WHIP) facing Kevin Millwood (2-5, 7.57 ERA, 1.91 WHIP). I predict a final score of 13-10. The Bucs will come out on top with the bullpen coming up huge, only allowing four runs after Zach Duke leaves in the 6th inning.

No comments: