The Pirates really needed to come home. After a dismal 1-6 road trip against the Reds and Braves, the Buccos returned to PNC Park for a 3 game set against the Chicago Cubs, a team that, ironically enough, the Pirates have handled easily so far this season. Coming into this homestand, the Pirates were at a season-low 11 games under the .500 mark.
Monday, May 31: Happy Memorial Day! The Pirates got a superb start from Ross Ohlendorf, great relief efforts by Evan Meek and Octavio Dotel, and two clutch hits from Garrett Jones to take the first game of the 3-game series against Randy Wells and the Cubs, 2-1 at PNC Park.
Jones blasted a solo homerun in the 6th inning, tying the game at that point. Then, in the 8th, he doubled to lead off the inning, and was singled home by Bobby Crosby, which would prove to be the winning run. While the Buccos’ bats sure weren’t any more prevalent on Monday than they’ve been in the past week, they produced JUST enough offense to snap their 5-game losing streak, and continued their winning ways against the Windy City Cubbies, taking game 1 of the series.
Tuesday, June 1: The hometown kid won it for the Pirates in game 2 of their series against the Cubs. Local boy Neil Walker spanked a two-run HR over the wall in the bottom of the 8th inning, giving the Pirates the lead, and the eventual win. It was Walker’s first career homerun as a major leaguer.
Runs certainly didn’t come easy in this game. Buccos starter Jeff Karstens pitched a nice game, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits while walking 3 through 6 innings. The bullpen, once again, was solid, allowing only 1 hit through the final 3 innings of the game. While Walk, of course, was the hero of the game, Garrett Jones also chipped in with 2 hits, including a solo homerun in the 4th. With two wins under their belts, the Pirates were set to enter the final game of the series looking for the sweep of the Cubbies.
Wednesday, June 2: Unfortunately, the Pirates’ chances to sweep Chicago were ruined on Wednesday. The game was postponed due to rain and was rescheduled for Monday, June 7.
Current Record: 22-31
And…As Always…Let’s Go Bucs!