Just What Pittsburgh Pirates Need, Red Hot San Francisco Giants


The Pittsburgh Pirates are in last place in the National League Central.  While the team continues to look at third strikes, play horrid defense and strand runners, they won the series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

It won’t be so easy against the San Francisco Giants.

Just when the Pirates looked like they were going to put a winning streak together, Edinson Volquez lost control, Jordy Mercer lost the handle, a strike was called a ball. Another pitch was necessary and it turned into a grand slam.  Yeh, it’s becoming really complicated for the darlings of 2013.   The Pirates are just not playing good team baseball.  Two ugly wins on Friday and Saturday each showcased bad defense, stranded runners and then a rousing comeback fueled by what has been missing in the 2014 season for the Bucs–timely hits.  It was easy to ignore the sins, because the result was so damn enjoyable to watch.

Now the powerful San Francisco Giants roll into PNC Park with a five game winning streak.  The Bucs desperately need pitching help and turn to Jeff Locke.  The southpaw hasn’t pitched well since being named to the 2013 All-Star Game.  Just as unfortunate, the last time a Pirates starter got a victory was on April 17.

Starting pitching has been so bad that the starters can’t get out of the sixth inning and for some reason the Buccos sent their best starter of late… Brandon Cumpton, back to the minors leagues.  Yeh, the Bucs don’t need a fifth starter until the end of the month, but why does the guy go that’s pitching well for a last place team?  So…the Bucs turn to Locke, whose ERA is over 5 at Triple A,  to shut down a Giants team that is second in Major League Baseball in home runs and is riding into town after a sweep of the Atlanta Braves.

Yikes!

Well, maybe not.  The Giants will also be looking at sending a spot starter to the mound.  The Pirates are still searching for their offensive stroke and while the club piled up hits on Friday and Saturday, the bats were pitiful against a Toronto starter fighting for his job.

Perhaps seeing their name in the cellar of the National League Central will send a jolt into the Bucs clubhouse.   It’s hard to imagine a tougher test than a team that has already racked up 20 wins this season.  But San Francisco has weaknesses, and it’s the type of challenge that will make the Bucs focus, force Locke to fill up the zone and should focus a defense that has kicked and thrown the ball all over the diamond.

 

 

Tags: Featured Pittsburgh Pirates Popular

  • scott stevens

    Tom, you and the other writers and bloggers still gun shy to criticize the real problem with the Pirates and that’s the commitment from the owner Nutting. Any other sports market would be highly critical of a Owner that doesn’t make winning his first priority, but not here. Are we so happy we have a team in Pittsburgh, we bow to our savior. Perhaps the writers who criticize the owner are given limited access to the players and clubhouse. Tell me what the deal is, you seem to care and you can not really feel Nutting did anything this off season to improve this team. It’s amazing the entire country feel bad for loyal Pirate fans for the cheap owner and lack of spending this winter to improve what had the makings of a exciting 2014, yet so many remain silent and justify this garbage locally. Small market mentality both on and off the field I guess.

    • JBubs

      A fine Straw Man argument, Scott.

    • jdk47

      I’m not ready to entirely blame Nutting yet. A lot of the blame must go on the GM, the coaches, and the minor league coaching staff. It’s a world of difference watching a team like the Cardinals play vs. the Pirates. They (the Cardinals) hit to the opposite field, bunt against shifts, don’t strike out in key situations, and play good fundamental baseball.

      The Pirates can’t bunt, just walk up and swing from the heels in every situation, and obviously aren’t well schooled in the fundamentals. And the coaches do nothing about it. They continue to trot out the same players doing the same things with no reproach or corrections. There’s a reason Jose Bautista became a star when he got a different group of coaches.

      Did anyone else notice that Toronto tried to take extra bases on everything hit to the outfield? It’s because they’ve been paying attention to the scouting reports and noticed the same thing that I noticed. It’s become alarmingly obvious that McCutchen and Marte have become lackadaisical in the outfield. Taking their time to get the ball into the infield with no urgency. The Blue Jays noticed…you can bet the good clubs will also.

    • rumbunter

      +1

    • rumbunter

      Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! You’re effin HILARIOUS. I criticize Nutting more than anyone. It’s apparent you don’t know who the hell you are talking to. .

    • scott stevens

      OMG, your right. I was thinking of Tony Canella. Been away from Pittsburgh for a few years and got you mixed up

    • http://rumbunter.com Tom Smith

      Shit. Now I am really upset. haha.