The Pittsburgh Pirates have many difficult decisions in the months ahead. Currently, the team is putting the finishing touches on what will be one of the worst teams in its’ storied history.
One would certainly believe the upcoming games against the Braves and Reds will be a showcase of the talented, playoff hungry feasting on the carp of Major League Baseball.
But it didn’t look that way yesterday. Was it the buzz of Mazeroski? Or do the Pirates have the ability to win a few series before this season concludes? It is something that will be interesting to watch. So many other people have grown tired of watching the team. I really haven’t. Sure it’s frustrating as hell sometimes, but the Bucs are still my team. So screw off.
The Bucs have a total of eleven games against teams currently in the hunt. The Cardinals are on the schedule six times with three of those being the second to the last series of the season. The Bucs also have games against the Astros, Diamondbacks, Mets and Marlins. We are looking forward to seeing what can be salvaged.
Yesterday a few Pirates hits were enough to topple the Braves. It was a puzzler. The Braves are are fighting desperately to hold off the Philadelphia Phillies in the pennant race. The pitchers dodged possible big innings by actually throwing some good pitches in key situations. It was an eye opener. A twinkle of things to come? Perhaps. We will be watching closely especially as the Pirates play teams still in the hunt.
As you begin to sober up from the weekend, you will notice that Neil Walker is still flammable. He still has the hitting streak. He still has doubters all over town. He has homered five times in the past nine games and drove in 16 runners in the past eleven. There is no doubt about that.
The Pirates will send James McDonald to the mound who hasn’t faced the Braves this year, but for his career JMac hasn’t allowed a hit against twelve Braves batters. The right-hander has an ERA of 3.00 at PNC Park pitching 18 innings and allowing six earned runs.
In the last month, could the Pirates play the S role? The Orioles team talked about being Spoilers in the Washington Post this weekend. We tweeted a little about Buck Showalter and what he has been able to do since being named skipper of the O’s. Showalter has been able to win five series since taking over on Aug 2. Also, the team had its’ first winning August in 13 years.
Is it possible the Pirates have any goals to play for the rest of the way? I haven’t heard anything being mentioned. We will take a look at it certainly, but it seems like such a contrast from the team in Baltimore right now.
So I was racking my brain trying to think what will the Pirates have to point to this season? What could possibly be exciting about 2010 for the Pirates? There are a few specific things, but nothing team oriented of any substance. And more importantly to me, is this question. What do the Pirates fans have to hang their pill box hat on from 2010?
The Pirates have won five of the past eight games at PNC Park. Could a September run be in their future? The Phillies and Cardinals certainly hope so. But is playing the role of spoiler an important one for a young team? The Pirates haven’t been able to garner a tag of any sort other than laughingstock in recent years.
A spoiler tag would be certainly be nice, and after a season like 2010, it sure would be enjoyable. Stay tuned.