Pittsburgh Pirates Love September Baseball
By Tom Smith
Sep 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Pirates love September baseball. For years, the ball club has talked about playing meaningful games in September and while the 2013 club was exciting, that team certainly didn’t play well down the stretch. The 2014 Pirates love September and are peaking at the exactly right time as they are 10-5 in September even after the month got off to an 0-3 start when they were swept by the St. Louis Cardinals .
The Pirates have won six out of their last seven series and with a win against the Boston Red Sox in one of the two remaining games, will make it seven of eight. The Bucs have reached their apex of the 2014 season, now standing at ten games over .500.
Sep 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (18) greets catcher Russell Martin (55) at home plate after Martin hit a two run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The offense kept on hitting last night in the 4-0 victory over Boston as Russell Martin, who wasn’t feeling great and didn’t even take pre game batting practice, absolutely crushed a two-run bomb.
"“It was the first swing I took of the day.” Russell Martin"
Starling Marte destroyed a ball in the bottom of the sixth for his twelfth homer of the year. And affter the game, Clint Hurdle summed it up correctly.
"It’s been fun to watch."
The Pirates pitching staff kept up their end of the deal. Charlie Morton made the start for the Pirates which was an interesting gamble by the Pirates and his patented sinker was working magic for him as Morton went five scoreless innings escaping several jams while keeping the Sox off the PNC Park scoreboard. The Bucs bullpen continued to look like the Shark Tank of 2013 as they pitched four shutout innings, closing the door on the disappointing Sox. The Bucs relievers keep getting the job done in September, including another gem of an inning from John Holdzkom.
Pirates John Holdzkom infographic.
The gamble with Morton seemed like a very smart decision as now the Bucs appear to have another pitcher that could contribute in the postseason (no jinx, no jinx.) While it seems to me like more talented teams would have scored a run or two on Morton last night, the location of his pitches, the bite on his curveball and the ability to still locate his heater while pitching with a sports hernia was impressive.
The upcoming series with Milwaukee is looking more and more interesting as the Milwaukee Brewers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 in 12 innings.
The Washington Nationals popped the champagne clinching the NL East. Rumstradomus to the rescue:
Josh Harrison is still leading the NL Batting race at .317.