The fiery postgame speeches continued last night from Clint Hurdle after the Pittsburgh Pirates were drubbed by the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-0. The Pirates skipper has done a lot of talking lately. Seemingly defending the rush of questions that beg to ask, is it happening again. The Pirates have ensured they won’t have a winning record in this stretch of twenty games in twenty days–what we entitled ‘The Homestand.’
The way they have went about losing is sloppy play. Something we haven’t seen much of this season. Maybe we should have used the hashtag, #Zoltanic after reading all of the hate that filled up twitter last night.
We trust it’s just the example of facing streaking teams. Ballclubs like the Reds, Diamondbacks, Padres, and Dodgers who were on a roll to the tune of 39 wins and 11 losses.
‘It’s gut check time,’ Clint Hurdle said smiling, ‘what’s that mean we don’t have guts?’
In other words it’s only cool when Clint uses a catchphrase. We are thoroughly convinced that if Hurdle was on the Titanic that fateful night, he would have been part of the band playing feverishly on the deck. We have to believe Hurdle is going to take a close look at his team and freshen it up a bit. He doesn’t have many choices we would think, but then we heard him comment on reliever Chad Qualls, who the Bucs picked up for Casey McGehee. It made us shake our head a bit, and wonder if roster moves will actually be made.
‘Nobody was throwing the ball better than Qualls…..I told Qualls, heh, you just joined the club.’ Clint Hurdle after Qualls got one out while firing 25 pitches–giving up four runs.
We read between the lines and gathered that the comments about Qualls meant a little bit more. Hurdle said that quote in the typical, aww-shucks manner that has endured him to so many Pittsburgh Pirates fans. It sure did sound like Hurdle told us indirectly that the #QuallsToTheWall hastag will be around for a while longer.
We trust we’re wrong. Playoff rosters are due in fifteen days.
And the suddenly deflective Hurdle didn’t stop talking there.
“Every team that I have been on has a patch of play like this. We know what we are dealing with and we have to find a way to turn it around.” Clint Hurdle, still smiling.
To repeat, ‘we have to find a way to turn it around,’ Clint said. (Sure it’s true, I also keep looking at those 22 games against some pretty poor competition coming up next month, and hold out some faith the team can ride this ugliness out)
Here’s a hint, maybe the Pirates can start getting the very best players the organization has on the field. It sounds rather simple to me, but even Neal Huntington sounds like he has some remorse based on moves he has made in his past.
“It’s a challenge,” General Manager Neal Huntington said. “I’ve been with another organization where we raided the AAA team as it was headed to the postseason and then the guys came up and didn’t play very much……. You want to be respectful of what Indianapolis is doing, but at the same time you want to make sure you put yourself in a position to win here in Pittsburgh.”
Yeh, that’s a great idea, winning in Pittsburgh is pretty important.