June 7, 1979: A Day Off Before Facing the Giants

The Pirates have a day off while they wait for San Francisco to come in from St. Louis, where the Giants just beat the Cards.  The Bucs are 27-23 and in third place, three percentage points ahead of the Phillies.  They trail the second-place Cards by two games and the Expos by four.

The Giants are also in third place and come in with a record of 27-30, obviously not having endured the rainouts that the Pirates have.  They finished 89-73 in 1978, boosted by very strong seasons from left-handed starters Vida Blue and Bob Knepper.  They also got big years from right fielder Jack Clark and second baseman Bill Madlock, and a solid one from third baseman Darrell Evans.

So far, the Giants aren’t getting the same performances this year.  Blue is struggling, with a 5.98 ERA, and Madlock is having the weakest season of his career, batting 248/300/381.  Clark and Evans aren’t hitting as well as last year, either.  Willie McCovey, though, is having a respectable season at age 41, although he’s not playing every day.

The pitchers for the three games will be John Curtis, Blue and Phil Nastu for the Giants.  Don Robinson, Jim Rooker and Bert Blyleven will start for the Bucs.