Monday, August 06, 2012

Good to be Home

Welcome Home, Neil Walker & Co.
Now that the harrowing but invigorating series in Cincinnati is behind us, the Pirates are back in Pittsburgh for an 11-game homestand beginning tonight vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With yet another game just hours away, maybe it's just as well there is little time to reflect on what transpired in Cincinnati.

What did we learn there?  That Charlie Sheen is a lifelong Reds fan?  That Bob Davidson's umpiring crew is all touchy-feely?  That umpire Brian Gorman is old-school incompetent?

That the Pirates can play toe-to-toe with the larger-payroll Reds, who have the best record in baseball after winning 18 of 22 games since the All-Star break?  Yeah, that's the one.

Despite Cincinnati's gaudy record; despite the recent absence of high-priced stars Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips; despite the Reds' incredible bullpen; despite the talented young players like Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Drew Stubbs; despite four Pirate hit-batsmen this series; despite all that, the Pirates have the look of a team that's going to dog the Reds for the remaining 55 games.

Erik Bedard (5-12) takes the mound vs. Arizona's Miley Cyrus Wade Miley (12-6), starting at 7:05 p.m., at PNC Park.  With Bedard pitching, the first three innings will probably take about three hours.