and they did it in excellent fashion -- i was glad to be watching. the pitcher, rick porcello, has struggled with ups and downs his entire young career, trying to find consistency because he clearly has the talent. he's a very likable guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, clearly taking it hard when he doesn't help the team win, and with a candid grin when he's got it going. because of his inconsistency and lack of endurance he was often taken out of games after 6 innings rather than 7, and tended to struggle at the end of games where he'd pitched well early. so tonight it was great to see him pitch his first complete game (after 147 previous career games), and to see how much he's developed. and for it to come in his first start after he gave up 9 runs to the red sox in that game i mentioned where the sox scored 20 overall, was just a great turnaround. the players were all smiles after the game and so was i.
the pirates have a couple magic numbers with 18 games to go. 11 for the playoffs and a rather muddled 20 for the pennant because the scenario nightspore mentioned in reply to one of my posts at the start of the season is taking place with three teams neck and neck and neck in the nl central. and speaking of muddled, the race for the final wild card spot in the american league is exceptionally muddled. the competing teams respectively have 78, 77, 77, 77, and 76 wins. it's going to be a photo finish.