I'm trying to think of something funny, or even just something insightful, to say about this game, but I've got nothing. A loss would actually be much easier to process at this point. Instead, A.J. Burnett pitched eight great innings, striking out 11, and the the Pirates cruised to an 8-1 victory.
They also now bid adieu to the Astros, who head to the American League. This weekend's debacle aside, the Astros have been extraordinarily kind to the Pirates this year, and the Bucs finish their season series against Houston with a record of 12-5. Those are seven extra wins that they're going to have to get some other way next year.
Anyway, no one scored until the fifth. The Pirates loaded the bases with their first three batters, and then Wesley Wright hit Gaby Sanchez to bring home a run. Then Mickey Storey walked Jose Tabata to bring in another. (How typically Astros/Pirates all this is.) Then Clint Barmes did one of his patented lunge-at-pitch-and-somehow-hit-a-fly-ball-that-no-one-can-catch moves, bringing home another run. Then Rod Barajas hit a single to a similar spot, and the Pirates were up 4-0.
In the eighth, the Pirates scored three more on a one-out double by Sanchez and then four singles off Enerio Del Rosario.
When Rod Barajas caps a four-run inning with an RBI single, you know it's the Pirates' day. Relish it if you can.