Big Lead Sports Bar

7/22/2010

I Don't Know Where the Real Pirates Are, But These Guys Can Hit


Five games, 48 runs, 71 hits. For a team that was hitting .235 and a fan base used to watching teams that hit .235, the post-All Star break Pirates have been a refreshing change of pace, with the exception of a toe-stubbing against Chris Capuano and Milwaukee on Monday night.

Last night was the latest example of the New and Improved Pirates, delivering another thorough beat-down to the Milwaukee Brewers, this time by a final of 15-3. It was a dose of poetic justice after the 20-0 thumping Milwaukee delivered to the Bucs earlier this season, which threw the young team into an early tailspin.

Neal Huntington has to be grinning from ear-to-ear, as his plan, at least for a few nights, has been falling into place. Pedro Alvarez homered twice for the second consecutive game, and was one of seven Pirates with multiple hits. Jose Tabata, with the story of his jail-bound estranged wife surely in the back of his mind, delivered two hits and three runs. Delwyn Young hit a two-out, three-run home run (very scarce in the Pirate Universe), had three hits, and drove in five. Even the man Huntington once labeled as a "utilityman", Neil Walker, had two more hits to send his batting average to .314. A decent effort from starter Zach Duke (six innings, six hits, three earned runs) was more than enough with that kind of run support.

Ross Ohlendorf (1-7, 4.62), who couldn't get out of the second inning in his last outing, goes tonight against Yovani Gallardo (8-4, 2.58). It's not practical to expect another 18 hits and 15 runs, but let's hope the Buccos give Mr. Wonderful a little more run support than they've done on most nights in 2010.

12 comments:

Chip said...

Neal deserves to grin. His rebuilding of this inept and going-nowhere franchise has been nothing short of utterly brilliant. The fruits of his labours are beginning to blossom and it's a beautiful sight to see.

This team will without a doubt be the talk of baseball next year. There are at least 5 potential All-Stars in the every day lineup and Pedro looks like a MONSTER.

I am so glad I stuck with this team when the average bandwagon jumping "Pittsburgh sports fan" gave up on them. The only sad part is I'll have to sit next to a few of them next year when I renew my season tickets and pretend like they deserve to be there.

Adam said...

Let's see how they play the Padres...

The Abiding Dude said...

Easy Chip...slow down there buddy. You are real quick to give this team some amazing attributes that 5 games does not make them deserving of!

And I am a Pirates fan...I am not a Robert Nutting. BIG difference. I know many people in my shoes. Doesn't make us bad people to not want to go and pay for a team of ownership profits.

Jon said...

The problem Abiding Dude is that Nutting was the one that took control of the team in 2007. He went out and hired a president that was a "baseball man" which is something that McKlatchy never did. He then hired Huntington. He expanded the Budget. Relinquished his salary and quit paying dividends to the owners. You all can keep saying Nutting is simply making profits but it isn't true. Nutting did not own the majority publicly until 2007. There is speculation that he could have owned the majority as early as 2005. McKlatchy, not Nutting was the man running the team into the ground.

The Abiding Dude said...

This may be true, just years of build up has left me in my current raging state of mind when it comes to the ownership.

And again...it is MUCH too soon to be sucking each others dicks over the Pirates recent success. SRSLY.

Scott said...

Thanks, Jon.

McClatchey was nothing but an inflated-ego trust fund kid.

Nutting is shrewd and narrow-minded, but I don't think he is being dishonest. I truly believe he doesn't pay a dime of attention to the Pittsburgh media because he lives in Wheeling. He probably watches some of the Pittsburgh news stations, but Wheeling does have its own small media. I doubt he reads any criticism in the PG or Trib.

I don't think there is money to be made. I think McClatchey spent the team to the brink of bankruptcy, which is probably why Nutting took a huge interest in buying the majority of the ownership. I also don't think that Nutting personally has the LIQUID cash to increase spending on the team. Hell, I'm worth more than $300k with my cars, retirement account, and house, but my bank accounts maybe total $5k.

I think Nutting would like to win, but his investment is about making money. He wants his stake to increase its value, even if it means not win a championship.

okel dokel said...

Its nice to see the Pirates catch some breaks and start to hit. A little early to be predicting "super stardom," but this is much better than the past attempts at "building a winner."

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Just because Nutting only came to forefront in 2007 doesn't mean he wasn't involved. They still had a controlling interest in the team.

Chip,
I would LOVE to be as optimistic as you and the Buccos have looked decent as of late. But let's forget where they were just before the break and the caliber of teams whom we are beating.


There are some solid guys on here, I don't know about 5 All-Stars, but the pitching is still years off unless we go after someone BIG via trade of free agency (ROTFLMFAO).

So don't get too excited yet, we still need to win 26 more in a row just to make it to .500. Winning 2/3 the rest of the way would still not translate into a winning season.........

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

They're improving, and they have a nice young core.

To imply otherwise is just overly pessimistic (understandable given the last 18 years).


But Chip's excitement is a little overboard.

Burress, we aren't hitting .500 this year. But if these young guys can continue to develop and become consistent, we should have a nice lineup to build around.

Nate said...

It's too early to get too excited, but man is it nice to see some major contributions being made by players that have been pegged as the long-term future of the franchise. And just think, the best player on the team in Andrew McCutchen didn't even play yesterday.

There are still some weaknesses - the pitching rotation is a glaring one - but if we can address those through the draft I think we've got a real shot at being a playoff team as soon as 2012 or 2013. We already made an important step toward fixing the rotation in drafting Taillon.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

If the current position players continue, there is definitely a bright future. Even more so if Taillon and Allie are signed and project.

I was texting back and forth with a few people during the game last night and I think it's sort of sobering to realize that saying "some of these guys actually don't suck" is the most excitement we have had in years.

But Alvarez and Walker have really come on nicely.

Nate said...

Personally, I feel like if next year we sign a free agent SS and a C to stop the gap until Sanchez (which may not even be necessary if Kratz keeps hitting), we can have a lineup that's good enough to contend.

Of course, the pitching staff would still be greatly limiting. When Maholm and Karstens are your two best pitchers, you're in a tough spot. It especially hurts that Morton wasn't able to repeat his success from last season.