The Pittsburgh Pirates start off the year with a series victory at home and they did it in typical Pirate fashion. It’s what has become the definition of Pirate baseball and what fans in Pittsburgh have become accustomed to seeing in the Steel City.
Charlie Morton and Francisco Liriano delivers absolute gems on the mound and the bullpen cleaned up the rest.
Not only that, but Morton showed that there is a price to pay when you throw at our star players. Unlike last year.
Starling Marte was pitched inside by Edwin Jackson in game two and it caught him in the hand to lead off the first inning. Apparently, that didn’t sit well with Captain Sinker.
Morton ushered Anthony Rizzo to first base with a fastball to the thigh in his very first delivery of the following inning. To me, I tip my hat to Charlie. Bob Walk, who apparently is a proponent of non-violent pitching, tends to disagree. But after the punishment that was dealt out to our star players last year, it was nice to see the precedent was set early that throwing inside on them repeatedly will not be tolerated. Kudos Charlie Morton.
Despite the fast start to the season there are some Pittsburgh broadcasters who seem down on the roster as it stands today. No need to mention names, but the show aired beore the game today on 93.7. And the brief segment that I caught reminded me why I decided to stop listening in the first place.
One of the prestiged broadcasters made the comment that he is close to “hating” the Pirate’s lineup because it has major league holes. Let me repeat. He said he’s close to hating…….the Pirate lineup.
This is the lineup that is made up of the same players (less Garrett Jones plus Travis Ishikawa) that was 22 games over .500 and in first place in the most competitive division in baseball the entire majority of last year.
So at that moment, I felt it incumbent upon me to explain why there’s no reason to hate the Pirate lineup. Let’s talk about it.
First. This is basically the same lineup that was 22 games over .500 going into September last year. Did I mention that already? Well, if I did I apologize, but that is sort of an important fact. Not easy to win that many games with a terrible lineup you know. They must have just got really lucky.
I definitely can see why he could be very close to “hating” this lineup though. I mean it’s not as if this lineup almost had the best record in baseball in the months following the all-star break or something.
Wait a second… this lineup DID almost have the best record in baseball in through the months following the all-star break last year.
Hmm..so ok…now I’m a bit confused. Does that mean that he hated the Pirate’s lineup all of last year as well?
Or only liked the lineup in September when we had Justin Morneau and Marlin Byrd in place. Or he liked the lineup last year, but just hates the lineup this year? Even though it’s basically the same lineup. Or maybe he liked the lineup last year, but secretely hated it, and just said he liked it because it was a tremendously talented and successful lineup that went to the playoffs and broke the longest losing streak in the history of professional sport, but really deep down…….he hated it…but just didn’t tell anybody?
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why this lineup is hate-able though. It’s not as if we have the NL MVP in center field, an all-star and the NL home run champ at 3rd, an all-star caliber left fielder, an all-star caliber 2nd basemen, a premier defensive catcher, a short stop who put up the 4th best offensive season the Pirates have seen in the last 20 years, a top tier starting rotation and a top 3 bullpen?
Wait a second… we do have all that? Hmm.
Ok, ok. So it must be because our first base situation. That’s why this lineup draws such hatred from our esteemed broadcast journalist. The platoon out there hasn’t lived up to your expectation and Ishikawa is not up to par. There we go..
I can understand that. I mean, in this series first base production only totalled a .300 BA and a 462 OBP% . That is absolutely horrid, I agree. Disgraceful performance. That’s certainly not the caliber platoon I’m looking for. We should all hate those numbers and be ashamed we have to watch such filth in motion.
And also he must hate the lineup because of right field. I can see that too…. Makes perfect sense. Our right field production in this series equaled a measley .250 BA and a .318 OBP%. Makes me sick to see this type of incompetance at PNC park. They’ll let anyone play nowadays!
Not sure what type of people he has in mind to make the lineup more “like”able, but hopefully the Pirate brass took notice of the brilliant insight he delivered today and gets to work immediately on re-constructing a team that won 94 games last year and was 5 wins away from the World Series. Only then, can he start to like the product a bit more.
I have a suggestion. Maybe if they brought back all the same players that we had last year when we went to the playoffs and almost won the NLDS and put THEM on the roster! Maybe THEN… he could enjoy the lineup card slightly more. Would that be better?
Wait a second…
For real pirate insight tune into The Big Tuna Show every Sunday at 12:30 on H4TV and follow me on twitter @TheBigTuna66