The Pirates just picked up Jason Michaels from the Indians and demoted Nyjer Morgan; in my opinion this is the sort of roster tinkering that really doesn't make a difference for a 70-win ballclub, but our friends at Honest Wagner approve of the moves. Morgan sucks a lot, and Michaels sucks marginally less, so they improve on paper.
The Pirates are actually a better offensive ballclub than you think, with 171 runs through 34 games, a little better than an average of 5 runs per game. A lot of that is the utterly insane Nate McLouth, who is batting .324/.406/.640, with 9 HR and 29 RBI. He's not that good -- almost no one other than Chipper is -- but he actually might be a good ballplayer, and he wore us out the last time we played the Bucs, 5-14 with a walk, two doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI. Xavier Nady's also out of his mind, .349/.411/.558, with 5 HR and 34 RBI; Jason Bay's bouncing back from a horrible year last year, and Ryan Doumit's hitting very well too. (Adam LaRoche isn't.) They're not pushovers, but other than those guys they have a lot of automatic outs in their lineup, so Tom Glavine should be able to handle them.
Ian Snell on the mound for them, Tom for us. Let's push it to 7 in a row.