James McDonald struck out nine batters tonight. Photo by Mark Olson

Tonight wasn't the type of game you'd normally expect the Pirates to win. It's not the type of matchup you'd expect any team to win. On one side you had the best team in baseball, with a pitcher who entered the game with 20.1 shutout innings to start the season. On the other side you had a team that has been very inconsistent this year, with a pitcher who has had low velocity to start the year and was hit hard in his last outing.

It didn't look good on paper heading into the game, but the Pirates took the win 3-1. There were two things that stood out to me which led to tonight's victory.

The biggest was the performance of James McDonald. He stepped up with one run on two hits in six innings, and impressively struc...

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