Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
So, it was a dismal opening series for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the serious takeaways – bullpen woes, slumping protection for Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole’s less than stellar opening salvo – are all real and worth talking about.
That said, it was the FIRST series of a 162-game marathon. The Pirates and Manager Clint Hurdle have plenty of time to right the ship. And, as such, I think it is paramount that we breakdown the eight most significant takeaways that no one else is talking about. So, without further ado:
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8. Gregory Polanco is tall. No really. He is like, really tall. Check him the next time you see him standing next to Cutch. He appears to be about 6’8”. Put him next to Josh Harrison and he looks like Yao Ming.
7. Jumbo Diaz, relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, has an awesome name and awesome stuff. The man can deal. And his speed ratio – pushing 98 mph on fastballs and a paltry 83 on sliders – is only going to propel him upward. But all that statistic stuff aside, he can shove.
6. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton is … wait, where’d he go? I must have missed him. The guy is too fast. The end.
5. Speaking of fast, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is basically a pitching bot of a human. It’s like watching a pitching machine set on “scare the hell out the batter” and the machine is just thwacking them in there, no time to see, to react, with hitters just swinging and praying or standing there and praying. But, just imagine when Pedro Alvarez or Starling Marte guess right with a 101 mph center cut fastball … the ball might still be in the air somewhere. The faster they come in, the farther they fly out.
4. And, speaking of Pedro, what a fantastic beard he has going right now. Makes Russell Martin’s from last season a little weak by comparison. The Pittsburgh Steelers parted ways with Brett Keisel, so, I guess someone needed to take up the torch.
3. While we are on the topic of grooming, McCutchen’s new close-cropped haircut hasn’t seemed to affect his power. Although his start is far from blistering, that opposite field home run he blasted the other night was certainly Andrew-esque in its trajectory and force.
2. Is it okay to despise a person you’ve never met? I’m only asking because I really dislike Todd Frazier. It is just something about the way the Reds third baseman carries himself. At least I think it is. Or it could be the fact that the man cannot, I repeat CANNOT, stop from spitting on home plate while in the batter’s box. Francisco Cervelli and Tony Sanchez should invest in a rain guard or something. It is disgusting. Or maybe it’s this: he hits way, way too well against Pirates pitching. He needs to cut that out. Lose the spitting on a sacred piece of the game. Then, maybe, we can be friends. Maybe.
1. Rain delays suck. Three rain delays. Three losses. In Milwaukee, with the retractable roof at Miller Park where their blond and bizarre Bernie Brewer, in all his pasty glory, plunges down the slide in center field like a lunatic whenever a Brewer hits a home run, the games are guaranteed not to be delayed. I am determined that the Pirates keep that mustachioed Muppet off the slide. It is spring. And, it is early. Hope springs eternal. I think no rain coupled with a team itching to get off the snide could very well be a recipe for success, don’t you?