Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some Pirates Talk....

Some Pirates thoughts while awaiting the rubber match of the Cardinals series to begin.....

  • Tuesday night's 4-3 fourteen inning loss was gut-wrenching, agonizing, aggravating, pressure packed, and ulcer-inducing.  Myself, I could not settle myself down to fall asleep for at least an hour after it was over.  But isn't this exactly what we have all been hoping for for the last twenty seasons?
  • Lost amid the tumult and shouting over the Tuesday loss was the fact that Charlie Morton turned in a pretty nice pitching performance for the Pirates.  That is a good sign for the stretch run.
  • If you are among those who accused Starling Marte of "hot dogging" and "showboating" when he dropped that fly ball on Tuesday because he didn't use both hands, will you also agree that every other outfielder in MLB hot dogs and showboats on every routine fly ball hit to them these days?  If you won't do that, then you haven't been watching very closely.
  • That said, it sometimes drives me crazy to see guys making one handed catches.  I was taught to use both hands to catch a ball and that is how I played the game.  On the other hand, the highest level of organized ball I ever reached was intramural softball in high school.  I think that these guys are just a tad better than that.
  • I learned long ago from a pretty good teacher - my Dad - that you can't fault a guy for making a physical error.  It happens.  The mental error made by Andrew McCutchen by staying on third base on that grounder in extra innings was a far more grievous sin that Marte's dropped fly ball.
  • I also said on Facebook yesterday that we would learn a lot about the Pirates' make up by how they responded to that Tuesday loss.  Well, it was only one game, but Pedro Alvarez, Garrett Jones, and, especially, Starling Marte and Francisco Liriano sure responded in a positive fashion last night, didn't they?
  • The Pirates could lose today's game, but they will still leave St. Louis with a two game lead, and a win would put them four ahead of the Cards.  Not too bad for August 15, I'd say.
  • Bloggin' Bob Smizik points out today that the Pirates have strong, if not leading, candidates for MVP, Cy Young, Manager of the Year, and Executive of the Year Awards for 2013.  
  • Let's give the Other Side a shout here, particularly, Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright. On Tuesday night, he gave up three runs on 50 pitches in the first two innings, started the third inning by walking McCutchen and going to a 2-0 count on Alvarez.  HE was as on the ropes as any pitcher could have been.  He then induced Alvarez to hit into that 1-6-3 DP, and it was like a switch got turned.  After that he proceeded to pitch seven innings, throw over 120 pitches, put a lot of men on base, but gave up NO RUNS after that, and kept his team in the game.  For those of you who long for Old School, Big Time pitching performances, that was one right there.
And now, let's take a look at some random Pirates Prospects to date....
  • Stetson Allie of the West Virginia Power:  244 AB / .324 BA / 42 R / 17 HR / 61 RBI / 1.021 OPS
  • Stetson Allie of the Bradenton Marauders: 177 AB / .226 BA / 23 R / 3 HR / 18 RBI / .702 OPS
  • Big difference in pitching when you go from Low Class A to High Class A, it seems.
  • Josh Bell at West Virginia: 407 AB / .290 BA / 71 R / 11 HR / 72 RBI / .826 OPS
  • Pitcher Tyler Glasnow, West Virginia: 8-3, 2.50 ERA, 140 K, 51 BB, 97.1 IP
  • Pitcher Luis Heredia, West Virginia: 4-3, 3.18 ERA, 34 K, 22 BB, 45.1 IP
And how about the Pirates two first round draft picks of 2013, now playing for the Gulf Coast League Pirates?

Reese McGuire: 129 AB / .326 BA / 22 R / 0 HR / 17 RBI / .781 OPS
Austin Meadows: 121 AB / .314 BA / 21 R / 3 HR / 14 RBI / .923 OPS

Now, the Gulf Coast League is a long, long, long way from the Major Leagues, but it looks like McGuire and Meadows are off to a nice start in their professional careers.

OK, let's all cheer on a win for the team in St' Louis this afternoon and set the goal of winning individual series from here on in.

Let's Go Bucs!                                           

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