It started when I noticed that Sean Rodriguez was playing in right field and Corey Hart was playing first. It continued when they allowed Gerrit Cole to pinch bunt in the 5th only to have him fake bunt/take a swing for a second strike and then bunt again to strike out. Putting in Radhames Liz, sticking with Mark Melancon in a tight spot all though he has been a disaster all season. It took many, many horrible decisions for the Pirates to lose 9-8 in the first game of the Russell-Bryant era.
The Pirates, well, that was shit. It’s a long season. It will work itself out. They are simply trying to get too cute. However tonight’s heartbreaker only shined a brighter light on some of the flaws in the Pirates roster that have popped up early this season: most notably the bullpen and their defense.
All though the Pirates faults were many, tonight was really about something else. The Cubs are very, very good and they will be for a long, long time. Addison Russell wasn’t Barry Larkin, but he looked like a solid big league player and not everyone gets off to the start the Kris Bryant does. Kris Bryant is the real story.
The ball comes off Kris Bryant’s bat in a way I have never really seen. As a child I remember seeing highlights of Bo Jackson hitting and thinking no one hits like that. Honestly, I probably never saw anyone hit like that until Kris Bryant. He is amazing. It’s honestly on the borderline of unbelievable. The ball jumps off his bat and he can control where it goes. Along with his piercing blue Hitler eyes I have to imagine the next decade will be his. He’s not Mike Trout. He’s not Cutch. He’s something completely different. We will compare future players to Bryant and I am pleased that I got to see his debut.
As for the Pirates, it’s a long season. It’s going to be a good one. Minor tweaks. Small changes. Less nonsense decisions. That is all it will take.