Greetings from the All Star break.
Sitting in 4th place in a throughly disappointing division the Pirates currently have a 42-47 record. What started as a promising season was quickly derailed through injury, suspension, and visa issues with the Korean government. Now the Buccos must look to shape their roster for the future, with the goal of getting a head start on competing in the 2018 season.
Their first opportunity will be the upcoming trade deadline.
At the heart of the trade discussion is face of the franchise Andrew McCutchen, in his 9th major league season, heating up after a harsh start to 2017.
The truth is it is impossible to say whether or not trading Cutch is a good or bad decision without knowing who the Pirates would get in return, making the definite opinions of fellow Pirates fans be it pro or con fairly ridiculous.
To keep McCutchen is to have your veteran leader in tact for the 2018 run, it is to keep a wary fan base appeased, it is to finally shed the small market malaise and commit to paying an icon.
Continue reading “The Pirates at the All Star Break”
It’s the moment I grew up hearing about, but never saw, other than the last little clip of Yogi Berra watching Maz’s homer going over the left field wall. MLB network showed the Kinescope of the broadcast that was made for Bing Crosby, part owner of the Pirates, a few years ago and I do not have the rights to show it, but let’s be honest, absolutely no money is made off of this website, it is only lost, so lets just play it cool and sit back and watch Game Seven of the 1960 World Series.
Here is a documentary about the 88 Pirates who were the first team to show off the basis of what would be the Bonds era Buccos. Split up into parts here they are piece by piece all though they may continue on their own from the first clip if you go to full screen mode.
Where were you when Johnny Cueto dropped the ball? Where were you when that fan almost blew it for us?
This game, more than any Pirate game I can remember, reaffirmed my faith and gave me a reassurance that I had done the correct thing by sticking with the team throughout their 20 year losing streak. I remember watching the game at Spencer’s in Park Slope because I had no television or way to watch it at the time. I walked down there and started at the bar on 5th that serves cheap drinks. I watched the pregame there. I was so nervous. I felt like I was going ot have a heart attack. The stress that I had felt during Penguins and Steelers playoff runs was nothing compared to this. I knew I was about to watch history. It was the realization of a day I had hoped for well over a decade. I always wanted to watch the Pirates in the playoffs as an adult. Now I could. So, here we go: The Game.
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.
The Pirates opened their season in Cincinnati today with a 5-2 loss, allowing 3 runs to be scored in the 8th after having the game tied 2-2. Tony Watson picks up the loss after a poor inning of relief after taking the mound for Francisco Liriano who lasted 7 innings and had 7 strikeouts. Andrew McCutchen led the Pirates with 2 hits and 2 rbi’s which came on an 8th inning home run off of Reds reliever Kevin Gregg. Aroldis Chapman was dominant in relief. The Pirates will resume the series on Wednesday with Gerrit Cole taking the mound.
The game was solid enough and the Pirates didn’t look outmatched, but there were a few things i noticed that give me pause. There were also a few things I noticed that calmed a few of my preseason fears. Put them together and what do you have?
The top 5 things I noticed from the season opener.
Jordy Mercer has the body language of a man who is going to lose his job in the next month or so —
I’m not claiming to have studied with Dr. Bill Simmons, but you can just see it in Mercer and it was the most noticeable item of the day for me. Mercer looks as if he knows his time is up as the starter given Kang’s spring and he is overwhelmed by what it would take to hold Kang off. I started noticing it when he almost got taken out by Starling Marte in the rain towards the beginning of the game. He looked like he had no clue what was going on and more than that he didn’t recover. He didn’t crack a joke, he didn’t yell, there was little communication. He just looked at everyone as if he was an outsider looking in.
Mercer is a solid player and I hope he has a great season, but I feel as if he is a starter or bust kind of player. As in if he gets the reps and at bats he could be a solid major league starting shortstop, but give some of those at bats to Kang and I don’t think Mercer becomes an elite bench player. I think he becomes another teams shortstop.
Andrew Lambo earned my respect with his pinch hit at bat —
I’ll be honest. I am biased. It hurts me to watch Andrew Lambo. He has AAAA player written all over him and I was slightly confused as to why the Pirates chose to break camp with him. However in his pinch hit at bat he took Kevin Gregg for a ride and got him to throw double digit pitches. He kept finding a way to get the foul tip and the one he got a hold of was only a little bit foul. Sure, in the end, he was out. Without his at bat though I find it unlikely Cutch gets his homer. Gregg had shown all his cards in the first at bat. Andrew Lambo will never be a starter for the Pirates, but if he can repeat tonight’s performance on a regular basis he will have a spot on the roster for the rest of the season.
Continue reading “The Top 5 Things I Noticed From the Pirates Season Opener”
I watched a majority of this game at Shananigan’s in Windsor Terrace, drinking beers with three other dudes there to watch the game and hoping, just hoping that Bumgarner would cool off if only for an inning. This was one of those games that I will always remember because it is one of the few events in Pittsburgh sports history where I felt helpless, because I could see our team was helpless. They were being shut down by Madison Bumgarner and the Pirates had nothing they could do about it.
As the Pirates run at the championship continues 2014 is likely the last season where fans can just be happy to be in the playoffs. From here on out it’s championship time. If this administration is going to win a World Series it probably has to be in the next year or two. This game is kind of a mile marker on a highway of success that shows the exact point when expectations changed.
A part of Pirate history. Game 3 of the NLDS 2013.