Today the Brewers open up a weekend series against the Captain Jack Sparrow’s. Over the past few years there have been plenty of drunken sword fights between these two teams. Generally, the Brew Crew comes out on top. Oh who am I kidding, we have publicly de-pantsed the Pirates for the last half-decade (5 years, for those of you keeping score at home). At one point we had beaten the Pirates 22 straight times in Miller Park. That all ended when Trevor Hoffman gave up a Grand Slam to blow number 23. Two era’s ended that day. Currently, we hold a 6 game winning streak against the Peg Legs of the Steel City.
For those of you who have not figured it our yet, I am somewhat of a movie buff. Love to watch them, enjoy watching trailers, and in just another few days Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides will be in theaters nationwide. So, what kind of a writer would I be if I did not capitalize on it’s popularity? I am a super nerd about these movies, they are just good old fashioned fun. I only bring this up, because when the Bucco’s come to Brew City, it usually means good old fashioned fun for us. However, we find ourselves…On Stranger Tides.
In the past, this has not been the case. Usually the Pirates are the bottom feeders and we are the sharks stalking prey (these sea jokes working for anybody?).
- Today’s starter for Pittsburgh, James McDonald, has gone 2-0 with 1.00 ERA in his last 3 starts
- Yovani Gallardo takes the hill for the Brewers, in his last 3 starts he is 1-1 with a really shaky ERA, despite the near no-no last time out
Naturally you would assume that Yo would lead us to victory. His track record against the Pirates is stellar (6-1, 1.80 ERA in 10 career starts), but this McDonald kid is pitching very well right now. With the way this offense has been hitting lately, this is by no means a slam dunk (insert Greinke joke).
- Currently, Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy are the only everyday players on EITHER roster batting over .300, so this Pirate team is having similar offensive woes this season.
No one really has an upper fin here. The Pirates have been able to rely on giving up very few runs, which the Brewers have fallen victim too all season long. Who cares about batting average if the team can only score a run or two.
- The Brewers are still not sure if Ryan Braun will play tonight, due to an ankle contusion.
- The Pirates star slugger, Neil Walker, was away from the team for a day or so while he battled flu symptoms.
It sounds like Walker will be in the lineup tonight, but Brauny could be sleeping with the fishes…at least for tonight’s game. This could really work in Captain Jack’s favor.
This series will be very interesting. The Brewers need to win this one verybadly. I can’t believe that at this point in the season I am already saying that, but there are certain teams that you should beat 2 out of every 3 times you play them. Our beloved Beer Guzzlers are 28-2 against the Pirates in their last 30 meetings at Miller Park. The Brewers should have a “take no prisoners” mentality about this series. Gallardo and Greinke will both pitch in this series, and that is never a bad thing. Everything seems to be in place for our dominance to continue.
On the flip side (of the golden coin that places a curse on you if you remove it from it’s chest), these are not the same old Pirates. They have some offensive threats and their starting pitching has been very solid so far in 2011. Having Kevin Correia has given them a work horse to chew innings. Then you mix that with Jeff Karstens and Paul Maholm, all of a sudden you have some really nice pieces to your pitching rotation. Let us also remember that the Pirates have the first pick in this years draft, and believe me when I say that the Long John Silver’s will be selecting a pitcher. This draft is full of some mind blowing pitching talent and the Pirates are going to get some.
I titled this article as such, because I think that things are going to start to shift the other way over the coming years. It seems as if the Pirates are finally putting some legitimate pieces together, rather than slapping an eye patch on any holes they had. They are only a piece or two away from being able to stay out of Davey Jones’ NL Central division locker for a change. If this season has taught me nothing else, it is to expect the unexpected.
This article was also inspired by this video. If you have never seen SNL Digital Shorts, where have you been? If you missed this one from last week, it will never be more relevant than it is right this very second.
***Special Notice– I will be attempting my first live game blog on Sunday. I would love to talk with all of you while the game is going on. Please be sure to set your calendars for this Sunday at 1:10pm CST. Tell your friends, neighbors, or if you hate me…tell you enemies. I look forward to chatting with some of you on Sunday!!!***
Have a safe and happy weekend. Go Brewers!!!