Whoa! Will someone stop this Rollercoaster so I can get off? I’m starting to get dizzy. After turning the page from April to May, the first two weeks can be described no other way than an up and down ride. Which Pittsburgh Pirates ball club is this? The team that scored just five runs in five games to begin the month and stranded more runners on base than there is days in the year? Or is this the team that has reeled off four wins in a row and won five of their last six including three games where the offense has put up seven runs?
Fortunately, delivering the Cardinals their first series loss of the year this past weekend has helped to make the pain of the sweep via three extra inning losses the week before a distant memory. Our recaps of those losses, as painful as they might be to read, can be viewed here (Game 1 – Game 2 – Game 3).
The free fall finally ended last Thursday as the offense plated seven runs in a 7-2 victory to salvage a series against the Cincinnati Reds. Part of the reason for the recent offensive surge has been the emergence of Jung-ho Kang who has forced his way into the lineup by starting out May with a .345 average. Rum Bunter Editor Jason Rollison told us this week what the keys to success will be for Kang to continue to produce.
If the recent success of the offense is to continue, it could be about being more aggressive on the bases as “Rollo” explores further. Having a new found clean-up hitter in former lead-off man, Starling Marte certainly doesn’t hurt. Co-Editor Tyler Waite explains how Marte is on the path to being the team MVP on a club that features former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.
Time will only tell if the momentum will continue or if this team will spiral out of control. To get caught up on what to expect in the remaining two games of the four game series at the Philadelphia Phillies, have a look at our Rum Bunter series preview and check back later for recap of the game.