Maybe disbelief is the world to best describe Pittsburgh Pirate nation. Shocked and surprised would probably work to. No matter which word you choose to use, they all explain the same amazing start.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 3-0 are after sweeping the Houston Astros to open the 2007 season.
The Bucs survived a sub-par start from Tom Gorzelanny by relying once again on its bullpen and some timely hitting, mainly from Jose Bautista, to beat the Astros, 5-4. Tommy G went five innings allowing seven hits, three runs but only two earned, while walking one and striking out four. Shawn Chacon and Matt Capps combined for three innings of shutout ball before King Salomon allowed a Craig Biggio homer in the ninth and then closed down his third save in as many nights.
Bautista went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and Jack Wilson had two hits to lead the Pirate offense, which chased Woody Williams after just four and two-thirds innings of work.
As I type this, Tim Kurkjan is discussing the Pirates start to the season. He said the Pirates are from Pittsburgh, I am actually surprised he knew that.
Craig Biggio had three hits for the Astros, while Chris Burke, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee all drove in runs.
The sweep marks the first Pirates series sweep in Houston since 1991.
Pirates Notes: Zach Duke has been pushed back a day, to Sunday, to make his second start of the season due to a cracked nail
-The Pirates are off on Thursday and will open at three-game series at Cincinnati on Friday. Maholm will start the series opener against Reds right-hander Matt Belisle.
Around the NL Central: -Ted Lilly dazzled in his Cubs debut as they beat the Reds
-The Dodgers avoided the sweep, beating the Brewers behind Jason Schmidt
-The Cards are 0-3. The defending champs, 0-3.
One Star -- Shawn Chacon -- 2 perfect innings in his season debut
Two Stars -- King Salomon -- 3 nights, 3 saves.
Three Stars -- Jose Bautista -- A couple really clutch hits to lead the offense