Game 21: Nationals (9-10) @ Pirates (9-11)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

One of these days, I will speak glowingly about the Pittsburgh weather (probably in June). For the moment, though, I have nothing nice to say. Which means I won’t say anything at all.

Some more positive Easter morning thoughts…

  • After last night’s game, Nationals starter Livan Hernandez made comments inferring that the Pirates purposefully didn’t let him know about an 8:15 pm start time early enough for him to appropriately get ready. My reaction to hearing this? Sounds much more like an excuse than anything newsworthy. And here’s why… It was announced in the press box and stadium 30 minutes before the start (which ended up being 8:16 pm) that the game would start at about 8:15. Furthermore, Jeff Karstens said (unsolicited) afterward that he was woken up from a nap about 30 minutes before the game’s scheduled start time. In other words, the same time the press box and fans got an announcement about a start time, so, too, did Karstens. How Hernandez could have missed a memo that went out to everyone else in the vicinity of the ballpark doesn’t necessarily appear to be the fault of the Pirates. My guess? Had Hernandez not given up five runs in the first, he wouldn’t have said a word. Instead, we get much ado about nothing.
  • Speaking of Karstens, he looks to be the guy who will continue to fill in for Ross Ohlendorf. The Pirates considered other options before going with Karstens the last two times through the rotation. But given his performance on Saturday, Karstens has given the Pirates no reason but to continue sticking with him.
  • Evan Meek has quietly made six scoreless relief appearances. One factor maybe not brought up enough earlier this month when Meek was struggling is that the guy has been sick almost since the start of the season. Between having a tough time fighting a virus (though Meek appears healthy now) and some missed time with shoulder tightness, Meek never got much of a chance to settle in. Maybe he is finally doing so now.
  • Speaking of the bullpen, the group as a whole has been tremendous lately. In the ‘pen’s last 20 innings, it has allowed two earned runs. Overall, the bullpen’s 2.56 season ERA ranks fourth in the National League.
  • Joe Beimel’s one-inning appearance on Saturday was his first as a Pirate at PNC Park since September 21, 2003.
  • Look for more on Andrew McCutchen stealing bases and Chris Resop’s strong start in the Pirates Beat on the main site later this afternoon.

Lineups:

PIRATES: A. McCutchen (CF), J. Tabata (LF), L. Overbay (1B), N. Walker (2B), G. Jones (RF), P. Alvarez (3B), C. Snyder (C), R. Cedeno (SS), K. Correia (RHP)

NATIONALS: D. Espinosa (2B), R. Ankiel (CF), J. Werth (RF), A. LaRoche (1B), M. Morse (LF), J. Hairston (3B), I. Rodriguez (C), A. Cora (SS), J. Marquis (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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