7:05 PM, FSNP, WPGB
Aaron Harang (13-3, 3.68) vs. Ian Snell (8-10, 3.93). Here's the box; I should be in the comments for a while.
The Pirates are 8-2 in their last ten games. That's great. Last night they tied a franchise record for most homers in a month. Also great.
However, the Bucs are 8.5 games out of first, with four teams in front of them. Pittsburgh would have to go 22-9 for the rest of the season just to finish .500, and it's pretty likely that the division winner is going to be at least four games above .500, which is where the Cubs are now. Anyone who has watched this team this year knows how unlikely it is that the Bucs will win 25 games or so the rest of the year. In other words, the Pirates aren't contenders. Forget it.
And the price of any excitement that mounts could be three more years of Dave Littlefield and Jim Tracy. Does anyone want that? Anyone? If not, let's accept this for what it is: a stretch of good play in an otherwise terrible season, in a horrible division.
UPDATE: Pat nails it.
-P- Salomon Torres' arthrogram came back negative, which may mean he can pitch again this year. Whether that will help the team, even given how poor the bullpen has been at times this year, is debatable.
Not to keep harping on this, but Torres' season shows why you don't sign relievers to long-term deals. This season hasn't just been bad luck for Torres - this is just what happens to good relievers, particularly ones in their mid-30s. They get hurt, they're ineffective, and so on. Torres' contract kicked in this year, and he's signed for $3.2 million last year - what are the chances the Bucs are going to get anything out of this deal?