From Last Night:
- Holland pitches a 2 hit shutout against the Yanks
- Boston unloads on the Jays, hang on to win 7-4
- Byrd’s 8th inning HR lifts the Mets
- Strasburg and Corbin pitch well, but an 11th inning hit from Gregorious beats the Nats
- Garza dominates the Brewers
- Kluber gets shelled
What I’m Watching Today:
- Cole looks to keep the Pirates hot (7p Eastern)
- Matt Harvey faces the Nationals, strikeouts in the forecast (7p Eastern)
- James Shields attempts to further discredit “wins” as a statistics (8p Eastern)
- Miller heads to Oakland to matchup with Colon (10p Eastern)
- Iwakuma welcomes the Cubs to Safeco (10p Eastern)
The Big Question:
- Is this finally the year for the Pirates?
As I write this, the Pirates are tied for the best record in baseball and could play pretty terrible baseball the rest of the way and still finish above .500. They’ve had great first halves the last two seasons and faded during the dog days, but they probably have what it takes to hang in this. On this day last season, they were 39-35, this year they are 48-30. That’s a lot better. But the offense is 19th in baseball in wRC+ and the starting pitching is 20th in WAR with the bullpen at 19th. They have the 5th best defense by UZR, which helps suppress the ERA and win games. I’m not sure I’m buying them as a playoff team just yet, but I’m pretty confident they are good enough not to lose more than half their games.