After the six-hour, 19 inning game in St. Louis on Sunday, the Bucs have dropped four straight games. They’ve fallen to eight games behind the Reds in the division, and are two games back of a wild card spot. ESPN/CoolStandings.com has lowered the Pirates playoff chances to 28.6%.
They desperately need a win on Saturday night and will send Jeff Karstens to the hill. Karstens has won four of his six decisions since coming off the disabled list on June 25th. He has a 4.05 ERA in his last three starts, but has held opponents to a .227 batting average in that time frame.
In his career vs. Milwaukee, the 29 year old California native is 0-5 with a 3.83 ERA. There has been bad blood between Karstens and the Brew Crew in the past. He was fined in 2009 for hitting Ryan Braun with a pitch; Karstens was drilled by Brewers’ reliever Chris Smith later that season, which led to the benches being cleared. Hopefully he brings some similar fire and rights the ship.
(Left: Umpire Chad Fairfield gets between Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens and Brewers catcher Jason Kendall. July 20, 2009. Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)