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Series Preview: Astros at Pittsburgh Pirates

I try not to write posts that annoy me, but sometimes I just can't help it. The Astros are in last place in the NL Central, and I. Don't. Like. It. I fully expect the world to stop spinning on its' axis, and for the birds to start swimming in the ocean and for the fish to start flapping their fins to take flight.

Safe to say, the world of major league baseball is topsy turvy as of now. Remember the old legend that when the British army was defeated by American and French forces at the battle of Yorktown, the British bands fittingly played The World Turned Upside Down? Well, the British probably didn't play that song, but the theme still holds for our purposes. Astros down, Pirates up. I guess I may have to get used to this idea...that is unless the Astros actually win this series.

That is a proposition that has proved difficult as of late, and currently the Pirates are playing decently/ok/fine/adequate baseball. Previously all average, no pop second baseman Freddy Sanchez is hitting doubles like they're going out of style. Promising youngster Andy LaRoche has turned it on recently on the hot corner. His wOBA is an extremely respectable .352, but BABIP beware.

Nate McLouth won a somewhat controversial glove glove award last season, and isn't doing all that much to prove himself a great center-fielder this season either. Nyjer Morgan though, has been getting on base and playing terrific defense.

Pitching wise, a rotation's worth of starters- Zach Duke, Ross Ohlendorf and Ian Snell are pitching above their heads by quite a bit. No one in their starting rotation has a great K rate, but they have limited their walks somewhat as a staff.

In the 'pen, closer Matt Capps is out indefinitely after taking a comebacker off his elbow. He hasn't been all that effective this season though, so the Astros may not actually be better off after all. Like their starting pitchers, Pittsburgh doesn't boast a relief corps that will overwhelm an offense with power.

Pirates Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday: Ross Ohlendorf (vs. Brian Moehler)

Ross Ohlendorf

#49 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates





Aug 08, 1982


Saturday: Jeff Karstens (vs. Mike Hampton)

Jeff Karstens

#27 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates





Sep 24, 1982

Sunday: Paul Maholm (vs. Wandy Rodriguez)

Paul Maholm

#28 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates





Jun 25, 1982