Pirates 20 Games in 20 Days Providing Plenty of Questions

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The Pirates have 18 games remaining until Buctober

The Pirates have 18 games remaining until Buctober

The Pittsburgh Pirates received no love from the MLB schedule makers.  The club began a 20-game in 20 days stretch by being swept at Busch Stadium by the Cardinals.  The club was facing a gut check and got a victory over the Rangers Yu Darvish and eeked out a 5-4 win last night.

A win today would complete the important sweep.

Tony Sanchez‘s personal pitcher Francisco Liriano grabbed his career high sixteenth win last night.  Sanchez put on a clinic behind the dish blocking baseballs and flashing his neon nails.  I don’t know about you, but I have seen enough of John Buck.  We are all about Russell Martin getting a blow, but it should be Sanchez getting the occasional start down this important stretch.

Speaking of playing well at the right time Jordy Mercer had two doubles last night.  Four hits in total.  Will Clint Barmes seriously see the field again, other than when Burnett makes a start?  Should he?

Andrew McCutchen is hitting over .400 since August 1.    Cutch drove in three as he continued to murder baseballs.   Is there any possible way this could continue?  Sure.  Cutch shows no signs of slowing down.

Gerrit Cole is pitching extremely well in his rookie campaign.   Remember what we said too…


There is no way Cole goes to the bullpen right?

Some Key sharks in the Bucs bullpen are scaring us.   Jared Hughes has allowed seven earned in his past 10.2 innings.  Bryan Morris betered him by allowing ten earned in his last 10.2 innings.  Morris has given up 18 hits in his last ten appearances.  Vin Mazzaro has given up just four runs but 18 hits in his last 13.2 innings.   With Hughes, Mazzaro and Morris shaky the team needs some arms to step up other than Tony Watson and Mark Melancon.  Why was Morris warming up last night with the Buccos clinging to a one-run lead?

The decisions Clint Hurdle makes are going to be amplified big time this month.  Twitter meltdowns are a source of pleasure.  Check it out sometime as you chew your finger nails to bloody stumps.

Could Wandy Rodriguez the Pirates long man?   With so many teams putting up dismal numbers against southpaws, the Bucs front office has to be drooling over the thought of Wandy putting up high game scores.  Wandy will pitch in a simulated game on Thursday?  Maybe the Bucs need a few players?  I’m available.  Just saying.

Will Charlie Morton be able to go this week?  Brandon Cumpton is the pitcher in the wings in case he can’t go, or is ineffective.

Starling Marte stole second base last night in Arlington.  It was…So. Damn. Scary.  Cooking with Marte isn’t something I am enjoying.  Let Marte heal, why risk it now?

The Bucs Gaby Sanchez turned a fine double play last evening that left Rangers skipper Ron Washington spitting all over the first base ump.  If you missed it, I feel sorry for you.  But Washington missed it too, for what’s that worth.

What’s up with Jason Grilli?  The hits keep piling up but thankfully, Tony Watson bailed him out.   The role Grilli fits this month will be very interesting.

Can the Bucs sweep the Rangers with A.J. Burnett on the mound today?  It would be huge.  Burnett will go on three days rest and this might mean Batman could eek out a start in the final week if the Bucs need it  (sounds good at least)  Right-hander  Matt Garza goes for Texas.  The Bucs have had some success against the former Cubs pitcher.

Garza has allowed some runs in his past few starts.  A win to conlcude the nine-game road trip at 5-4 sure would be sexy.

The Nationals are eight games back from the Bucs.  Six back from Cincy.  Who would have thought?

The Bucs could really use a win today to even up the first six games of this 20 game stretch at 3-3 before coming home to face the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.


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