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Belated Series Preview: Pirates (13-14) at Brewers (18-10)

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Yesterday I forgot.  So...let's talk about the weekend games now.  I'd prefer not to talk about last night's game, except to say that I'm now endorsing a quick hook on Dave Bush.  100 pitches, six innings, whatever: if it goes well, yank him.  Especially when the bullpen is fresh, which it looks like it may often be for Bush's starts.

Here are the matchups for the rest of the series:

If you go strictly by the in-season numbers, that's three easy wins, right there.  Of course, Maholm and Duke are decent pitchers and have shown flashes of brilliance against the Crew.  Couple that with Vargas's inconsistency and tonight's game is one to worry about.  On the flip side, it's hard to be pessimistic about Suppan right now, and if we don't win on Sunday, I'll have some fundamental assumptions to rethink.

Even after last night's game, Pittsburgh is still under .500, though they are second in the division.  (Kinda funny that the Brewers, Pirates, and Reds are the top three right now, huh?)  As it was when we last met the Rats, their offense is still putrid.  Team OBP: .293.  In other words, it's like Counsellino from one through nine.  What's keeping them afloat are impressive pitching performances from Tom Gorzellany and Ian Snell, neither of which we'll have to face again until some future series.  

Some reading from the Rat-o-sphere for the more well-balanced among you:

If this were a three-game series, I'd say we were all but guaranteed a win, with today's game determining whether it was a sweep.  Since we're already one in the hole, I guess we're playing for the win, but more realistically expecting a split.  Given how we've played the Pirates the last few years, a split is darn good enough for me.