You’ve been following the Pirates for a long time. Don’t give up now. Hell, this is the last thing you should do. Now is the time to prepare for the real season. The call for back up is about to be made Pirates fans, and it’s going to be exciting.
Sure, it’s approaching Memorial Day and the Pittsburgh Pirates are staring at being ten games below the .500 mark with another loss tonight. Sure it sucks. When you’ve endured the pain for so long, why would you want to give up now?
Most will point to the recent production on the field. Each and every one of those people are correct. We could write a recap on last nights game. You already know the Pirates lost 7-3 to the Atlanta Braves.
We easily could talk about Charlie Morton going on the DL. We already said he needed fixed. So that’s old news, leave that to the talk shows.
We could do a list showing you how bad the offense has been in the past ten days. But that’s not going to do any good for your soul. It’s the holiday. A time to relax. A time to thank our military for their service. If you see a U.S. Veteran this weekend, just tell them how much you appreciate their dedication to this great country. It will mean a lot.
The Pirates veterans are to be thanked as well. Not the current veterans on the roster, but guys like Kent Tekulve, Bill Mazeroski, Steve Blass, that you will see at games the rest of the way through this difficult season. But whatever you do, don’t write off the Pirates this year. No, they aren’t going to be really good. The pitching everyone was counting on has failed. Why they were throwing so much, so early is something for a different post. Without starting pitching this team will be very bad. But, some offense is just a call away.
The offensive help is coming. I get a feeling that you are going to be able to walk around with that barrel chest of yours sticking out very soon. It’s not going to be rainbows, sunny skies and bubble gum the rest of the 2010 season, but the pathetic offensive output by the Pirates is going to improve. It will improve very soon. So let’s look at why this second half is going to be the most exciting one we’ve seen in a very, very long time.
Neil Walker is hungry. He appears pissed off about something. Maybe it was the writer that said he isn’t a Pittsburgh guy. The same writer who said Walker received a public tongue lashing. The same writer that had ridiculous comments to me when we came to Walker’s defense. The same author apologized to Walker in a much smaller column a few days ago.
Nevertheless, Walker is hot at the plate. He appears relaxed and confident. He ripped two doubles last night, giving him three since he was called up (17 at-bats), Bobby Crosby has two doubles all season, (76 at-bats.)
Here is the Video of Walker ripping a double off a left-hander in the eighth inning. This is huge for him mentally.
The box score from last night isn’t going to look that way for very long. Help is on the way.
The kid from Anzoategui, Venezuela will be called soon. Jose Tabata has an OPS of .805 in his last ten games. His .791 OPS will help the Pirates lineup more than anyone can forecast. The leadoff position has suffered all season since Andrew McCutchen was put in the three hole. Tabata is an offensive force at the top of a batting order. Write it down. He’s ready.
Pedro Alvarez has an OPS of .983 in his last ten games. His .861 OPS will help the Pirates lineup more than you know. He can provide some protection. He is clutch too. Eight of his ten homeruns have come with runners on base. He has a .396 OBP and a .596 SLG this month. He might not be ready quite yet, but all signs sure do point to it being very soon when the future star arrives on Federal Street.
Steve Pearce and his ankle will be healing. He can return to the lineup and provide some spark with his bat and flash leather on the diamond. He had an OBP of .395 before the injury and had walked in four of his past five games. Pearce also had a couple of doubles and a triple to help the Pirates offense.
Don’t look now, but these Pirates are doing some things well on the diamond too. Shortstops that are hitting well beside Ronny Cedeno? Both of the SS at the Pirates AAA club are doing work. Argenis Diaz is a singles machine when he isn’t striking out. Brian Friday has been on a bit of a tear recently too.
The callups will curtail the amount of plate appearances we will have to endure from Ryan Church who is fighting to stay over the Mendoza line, Lastings Milledge who is still looking for some power and has yet to make a ball leave the yard, Bobby Crosby has done very little for the offense, and of course Aki Iwamura at second base, well….do you really need stats?
On this Memorial Day Holiday, thank our U.S. Veterans. The Pirates veterans? Well, not so much. Each of the players above seem to have proven that it isn’t quite working, now I would still not want to give up entirely on Milledge, but one thing each of those players have done is this. They have done nothing with their opportunity and we will see less and less of them as the season continues.
But don’t make the same mistake about the Pirates that fair weather fans are making. This team will get better.
Talent has a way of doing that to a ballclub.