The road trip is on.
The last two losses have exposed some obvious challenges that the Pittsburgh Pirates have – obvious to us, at least. And we think to most every diehard Pirates fan, as well. The pitching staff has been the key to this magical early season run for the Bucs, who now sit two games back of the lead in the NL Central.
With the Pirates rolling on a four-game winning streak and headed to Baltimore, it wasn’t really hard to see the impending doom that has seen the Bucs outscored 15-7 in Charm City. Before work on Monday, we took a look at the matchups with EMac in our office. Brad Lincoln and Kevin Correia against the sluggingly blessed Baltimore Orioles. We foresaw a momentum-crushing disaster coming.
The only hope was Orioles lefty Brian Matusz. So much for that thought when he was scratched from his start around 3:30pm. (Thank you, baseball Gods)
Jake Arrieta can pitch. Some serious bad luck has perplexed him this season, for sure, but it was a pitching matchup destined to worsen a formula for the aforementioned disaster. We tweeted that today.
Now, after the Bucs repeatedly swung at pitches out of the zone, the Orioles opening day starter and his new-found velocity have a new career high in strikeouts. How often have we written that this season?
What we didn’t see coming was the poor Pirates defense. What we didn’t see coming was the suddenly skinny Steve Pearce ripping singles at will. What we didn’t see was fill-in RF Ryan Flaherty turning into a defensive wizard. What we didn’t see was the offense not scoring when they had repeated opportunities in both games.
What we did see was Brad Lincoln getting rocked. What we did see was Kevin Corriea getting rocked. (But you can get a laugh and make some cash at Correia’s expense, by entering the Caption Contest which will end on Sunday)
We’ve had enough. We’re off to Camden. Hope to see you down there, everyone.