HOUSTON -- Kevin Correia is quick to point out his inability to "enjoy it with what's going on right now" with the Pirates. But the veteran right-hander is finding satisfaction in what he has been able to do with a second chance in the Pirates' rotation. Correia was nudged from that rotation on July 26, when the team dealt for left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez, even though at the time Correia was riding a six-game winning streak.
"We just picked up a real good starting pitcher and I was the one who had to make room for him. So I didn't feel I'd pitched myself into the bullpen to begin with," Correia said. "But that's what people thought from the outside. "I'm going to be a free agent after this year, so going back in the rotation to prove myself if I want a job next year, it's nice to be able to do that." For nearly a month after his ouster, Correia pitched only four times, twice in spot starts. But he has been back in the regular rotation since Aug. 20 -- when he'd volunteered to start in San Diego the night after having pitched two innings of relief in a 19-inning game in St. Louis. Since rejoining the rotation, Correia has posted a 2.52 ERA in seven games. "It's been a weird, tough year," he said. "Hopefully we can still turn it around and salvage something, play well and get the bad taste out of our mouth going into the offseason."