Can The Pirates Do Enough To Win Back Your Fanhood?
Don’t look now, but after some immense data mining, we have found some good news to report on your Pittsburgh Pirates. You won’t find much of it out there, but we have it here for you. Check it out…. Everyone is looking around for answers. I have a question for you. The Pirates offense has been the worst in MLB. You know that. But what Pirate has hit .298, slugged .609, and had an OBP of .341 (up from .214 on July 1.) in the month of July?
The answer is Pedro Alvarez and despite his abundance of strikeouts (35 in his 84 at-bats), the guy is reaching base. He has had a hit in 13 of his last 15 games. He has reached base in 14 of the last 15 games. If Pedro Alvarez shows he can hit the long ball, he has three in his past eight games, will you be happy about this club?
Those that are still pissed already muttered it’s only ten games. Ten games he has hit ok. Let’s not call him Bonds yet yard bird! Ok, ok. I get it, however, I know that if Pedro continues playing well, and he crushes balls into the seats somewhat regularly this season..I will be freaking running through the mountains painted in black and gold.
We all waited. We hoped Pedro would be the guy. But didn’t you have some concern? After all, it is the Pirates and with the amount of injuries and awful ‘stuff’ that happens almost every week with this ball club, I just didn’t want to get too excited.
I think that is why most fans can’t throw their support behind this team right now. Nobody wants to get their heart broke. The new front office has done nothing to engender the trust of the fans other than spend money in the draft. That is vital. No question. But even a can’t miss, feel good, grand slam, goosebump inducing story like Neil Walker was handled like a Big Ben pass to Limas Sweed.
But, in less than thirty days we could start to see a shift. Let’s pretend we smoked a quarter ounce of hillbilly grass and the Pirates sign Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie. And Luis Heredia. That would help immensely, not the grass, the players. I say this has to happen. One would think the Pirates wouldn’t have bothered to draft such studs, and go take an extended look at Heredia, if that was not their desire. The Bucs are smack dab in the middle of serious talent. It’s exciting stuff for the hard core fans that can see what is happening.
That’s what the fans expect. If you draft them. Sign them. If you take an extended look at a player such as Heredia, get your name in the middle with the big boys, sign them. If only it was that easy. That’s a dream.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates had a shortstop would you be tuning in more? Maybe even come out to a game once in a while? The shortstop position is the face of a team for me. Our face is Cedeno right now. Yeh, that’s about right. But lately, Cedeno has been hot. Perhaps the exile to the doghouse has helped, Cedeno has played 24 errorless games and had five hits the week leading into the All Star break.
Maybe if the Bucs could throw out the thieves on the basepath a little more, fans would be excited. Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit has shown some offense with his .303 average against RHP, but just .188 against LHP. And I am certain that even you could steal on the Pirates at least three out of ten times. For some people, the catcher defines a team. Doumit hates to lose, but if his defense was just a tick more improved this team would show me something. In fact, they would have a couple more wins too. Until the backstop position is solid, the Bucs are a Rubik’s cube with one of the stickers pulled off.
The second half will be important for Garrett Jones. He is playing solid baseball. Most thought he would fade away. His average has been good, GFJ is 63-for-207 in his last 55 games. He leads the Bucs with 52 RBI, but will it be enough for you?
Finally, Andrew McCutchen. He feasts on the NL Central with an everage of .336 with eight doubles, two triples, four homers and 14 RBI. Perhaps a hot start by Cutch will be the trick. With the first two series against the Astros and the Brewers, Cutch needs to be blazing.
If Cutch is hot and the Bucs can mix in the talented play of the Youth Gone Wild, maybe get some improved pitching and some of the Perry Hill-isms come back, the Pirates defense would look less like Benny Hill and more like a team with a future. When those three things happen, the Pirates homestand will be rocking. Watch and see.
If you still care.