The Pirates dropped two of three games to the Cubs in the opening series early this week, with an aggregate score of six runs apiece. While we’d like to see the bats light up a little bit more, there’s not a ton to complain about, the pitching was solid, and the bullpen was darn near perfect (except Jared Hughes). The main reason most Pirates fans are upset right now is because they know how intense the upcoming schedule will be, so jumping on the Cubs felt like a necessity from most folk’s perspective. Speaking of perspective, Andrew McCutchen provides some here: “It’s early, man. It’s three games into the season, It’s not like we’re getting killed, 15-0. The games are close.” What a lot of fans fail to understand is that despite how frustrating losing as a baseball player can be, you play a lot of games, and the best way to treat things is by keeping an even keel the entire way through the season. During the hot streaks, you have to remember that you will cool off eventually, and during the bad streaks, you have to remember that eventually the hot streaks will be back again.
"April 1, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) hits a double against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning at PNC Park. The Chicago Cubs won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports"
I understand some folks won’t like the quote from Cutch, but he’s not only speaking truth (we are only 1.85% of the way into the season), but showing veteran leadership qualities that are going to be even more valuable in the future. AJ Burnett can’t be around to lead the team forever, so it’s good for a guy like McCutchen to show qualities that will allow him to step into a similar role when he needs to. It’s not fun to lose, but we have to remember that we have a long season ahead of us.While that may concern some (myself included), the long season does provide an opportunity for teams to show if they’re for real or not. One bad string won’t sink your team, and one hot streak won’t propel it into the playoffs either. Even, calm, relaxed, and good for the whole year, not just a super hot streak now and again. That’s what the Pirates need to have to get a winning season this year, and nothing less.