We have many reasons to believe the Pittsburgh Pirates will be just fine as the season moves forward. The pitching as of late, and the bench the entire season has been disturbing, very disturbing, but a few moves will be made there. There is no reason to believe that the roster won’t be upgraded as the team moves into September.
We feel good about this team based on what they have done at the plate. The two big dogs will start progressing again— Andrew McCutchen will bounce back and Pedro Alvarez will hit long balls again. The team needs those two players to produce as much as anyone in the starting lineup for the Bucs to stay in the hunt. We feel strongly that will happen.
As far as pitching for the Bucs, it’s not like alternatives don’t exist. That’s the biggest difference between last year and this. A calvary lies waiting.
Looking at tonight’s third game of the series against L.A., if one Pirates pitcher could be perceived as being a Big Blue Killer, it would be Wandy Rodriguez. The lefty has given up just two earned runs in his last three starts against the Dodgers. The career numbers for Wandy against the Big Blue are even better.
The other reason we are keeping faith in this team is their power. The Pirates have 92 bombs since June 1st, that is the best in the National League. Only the Yankees and Angels have hit more in MLB.
Neil Walker has driven in more teammates than any National League second basemen this season. He is tied with Dan Uggla and Aaron Hill for the NL lead in homers. The Hometown Kid has hit 14 long balls and is chasing down Bill Mazeroski’s record (19) for homeruns in a season for a 2B.
Michael McKenry has hit safely in ten consecutive starts. MAC is ripping for a .378 average in his past 15 games. His eleven bombs are the most since Jason Kendall belted 14 in 2000.
Garrett Jones is in flames right now. Of his sixteen hits in his last 42 at-bats, five have gone for doubles, that crushed triple, and a homer. He has six multi-hit games over that time.
Starling Marte has played in 18 games in his rookie season. #MartePartay has reached base safely 13 times, he has hit four bombs.
And finally, the Dodgers use Pittsburgher Bret Michaels to try and seem cooler. We can understand that I guess. It’s disappointing the guy with a Steelers card would sell his blood for the Dodger Blue. But heh, can we all agree that the Pirates not using Nickelback in their marketing efforts is a bonus…c’mon.