So many people believe the Pittsburgh Pirates
are going to fade away. We can’t blame them. The team is young. The team has been riddled with injuries. Insert any other excuse right here______________.
But none of those excuses seem to faze this Pirates team. Manager Clint Hurdle said, he is focused only on ‘the current 25 guys.’ The players that are injured aren’t a concern apparently. The fact that so many of those ‘guys’ Hurdle refers to are wearing major league unis at this point in their career is mind blowing. The Pirates just went three games over .500 without their starting shortsop, thirdbaseman, left fielder, and catcher yesterday.
The question a lot of my friends are asking is how? It’s not real easy to explain.
So we dug up some stats, let’s take a peek and see just who are the offensive players leading the charge? In the past thirty games it’s been Andrew McCutchen and recently recalled Alex Presley. As you know, Garrett Jones has become hot, Jose Tabata was hitting well-but showed insanely little power, and surprise, surprise Ronny ‘Stay Thirsty’ Cedeno.
Two of those five, Tabata and Cedeno, are out of the Pirates lineup. There is no way the Pittsburgh Pirates can keep this up right?
You apparently haven’t been watching the newfound offense. The Pirates are starting to take the wood to the teams they should have. To say the Pirates can’t sustain winning is not founded in anything that isn’t debatable.
The pitching which was fantastic has tailed off. The winning hasn’t.
The hitting started slowly. Is it picking up? We say it definently is.
The team struggled ridiculously to score runs at numerous times during their surprising 2011 season. How in the name of Jolly Roger are the Pirates just a game and a half back today? Especially when this chart shows just how bad this offense has been in the past 30 games?
The answer is the Pirates play team baseball. Sorry. It was evident again yesterday, when the team committed three errors in one inning. In years past, the team would have folded. A 5-0 loss would ensue. John Russell would mumble. Writers would write stories. Repeat.
Not in 2011. Bench coach Jeff Banister said it best in Spring Training.
"….you won’t see this team roll over. Those days are gone. Not these Pirates. Jeff Banister"
As I walked back to my car in Bradenton that day, I didn’t give it much thought. But watching the Pirates this year, it’s so easy to see. Banister was correct. The fact that the Pirates have a large portion of minor leaguers in the lineup and on the bench every day is beyond belief.
So we think the team can sustain winning, especially over the next 14 games, barring any further (God please no!) injuries. It’s almost laughable to think the Pirates won’t. Close your eyes and imagine when the major leaguers start coming back to the team.