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Pirates 8, Cardinals 4

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I didn't mean to focus on the negative by failing to post a recap of last night's game. The sad truth was that I had to leave in the eighth inning, so I missed all the fun. It sounds like there would have been a lot to talk about, too, so I can understand why the game thread was so huge -- Marino Salas walking the bases full (including one intentional walk) in the ninth but picking up the win anyway? Marino Salas pitching in the ninth in a tie game in his major league debut? Nate McLouth sacrificing in the top of the tenth? Ronny Paulino and Adam LaRoche coming through in extra innings? Whew.

Anyway, the Pirates yet again find themselves just a game away from .500. Their pitchers really, really need to improve their control if they're going to continue to win, though, especially with Ryan Doumit and his bat on the DL. They issued seven walks last night and are now fifth in baseball in walks allowed, behind only Milwaukee, Colorado and two AL teams.

I have to admit that this streak of good play hasn't felt real to me, both because I've been too busy to really appreciate it and because several of the games were against the Giants. But, even with Doumit on the DL, I'm beginning to almost believe we've got a real major league offense here. McLouth is mostly for real. Jason Bay is mostly back. And LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez are starting to come alive, too.