But a day after their 6-3 win Saturday night, the Pirates put up five runs, three of which came off two-time Giants flamethrower Tim Lincecum.
The Pirates faced another test Monday in their rescheduled game against the Cubs, who trotted out Carlos Silva, winner of each of his last five starts. Silva has an ERA of 3.12.
Awaiting them Tuesday in Washington is, of course, the heralded Stephen Strasburg, last year's No. 1 overall pick who will be making his Major League debut.
But the Pirates' bats have generally risen to the occasion against the biggest pitchers they have faced. Look no further than their defeats of Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, Arizona's Dan Haren and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw.
"We were a hit or two away from definitely winning [Sunday's] game," Garrett Jones said. "We made a few mistakes, but we can compete with anybody, is what it comes down to. We can compete with anybody."