The Pirates are getting ready to get their pink on for the annual Mother's Day game dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Swinging pink bats against the Astros will be Jose Tabata, Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes, Yamaico Navarro, Alex Presley, Casey McGehee, Pedro Alvarez, Nate McLouth, Andrew McCutchen and the day's starter, A.J. Burnett. Additionally, Neil Walker and Josh Harrison will wear pink shoes.
Erik Bedard reported to the park feeling better Thursday than when back spasms had forced him early out of Wednesday's game, but it was too soon to speculate about the lefty being able to take his next scheduled turn, Monday in Miami. But the staff will need a definitive read on Bedard's availability by Friday night. If he can't go, Brad Lincoln is the most likely replacement, since he picked up the first three innings after Bedard's ouster.
Depending on the prognosis, the Pirates could also decided to place Bedard on the disabled list. That would allow Daniel McCutchen to remain on the roster even following Joel Hanrahan's return on Sunday from the bereavement list.
Entering Thursday night's game, Pirates starting pitchers had already logged three games with 10-plus strikeouts. All last season, not once did a Buccos starter crack double figures.
In 2011, the Bucs were 1-10 in series-ending games in which they had a shot at completing three-game sweeps. They started 2012 the same way, dropping Thursday's finale with the Nationals after having taken the first two games.
The Last Word: "We didn't have to give one to that kid. He'll win enough on his own." -- Kevin Correia, on his two sixth-inning mistakes that got Stephen Strasburg off the hook Thursday and instead gave him a 4-2 win.