Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – these Battlin’ Buccos


Welcome to the first edition of our Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a new daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw a few links to some good articles from around the web concerning our baseball team. Let’s start with a few things that crossed my mind during the game last night.

The Battlin’ Buccos

I started writing this post early during the game last night, before the nine-run inning occurred that was one of the many defining moments of the Pirates’ season so far. This team battles and battles and battles and never gives up. There’s a feeling about this team that they have chemistry as a clubhouse, and that they believe in themselves. For as much as all of us complain about random issues the team might have (including myself), this is one damn good baseball team. They now sit 21 games over .500 and five games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. That’s five games off the 26 games over they finished the season at in 2013. They’re getting hot at the perfect time, heading into a series with the Cardinals. They’ll have Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano in that series and will have a great opportunity to make up ground in the division. Man am I looking forward to that.

Charlie Morton has one very slow delivery

Man, Charlie Morton has to have one of the slowest deliveries to the plate in the league. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue. Every pitcher has their own tendencies and wind-ups and what-not, and those kind of things don’t matter when you’re a great pitcher. But Morton isn’t a great pitcher, and while he does have a good turn to first, his slow delivery hurt the team last night. Coming into the game, the Dodgers had the fewest stolen bases in the majors. They stole three bases against Morton, and the ESPN announcers wouldn’t let us forget how slow Morton’s delivery was to the plate. Only one of those three runners ending up scoring, but it’s still an issue.

More from Pirates News

The Pirates as a team lead the majors in stolen bases allowed. Curt Schilling of ESPN pointed out how it’s probably an organizational issue. Now let’s not get all critical about how the Pirates teach pitching throughout their system. Clearly something is working, considering the talented pitching prospects the team has in the minors and how well the staff has done at the major league level the past few seasons. But I do agree that limiting stolen base numbers is an issue that should be addressed in the offseason, and it should be a priority. The pitchers worked on batting this past offseason, and it’s paid off to some extent. Now it’s time to prioritize limiting stolen bases that could turn into extra runs.

Alex Wood would have looked nice in a Bucco uni

Alex Wood looked good last night up until a monster home run from Andrew McCutchen. The Dodgers acquired him at the deadline in a three-team trade, and it didn’t seem like the Dodgers gave up too much to get him and the other players they acquired. The Pirates had the prospects to get a deal for Wood done, and I personally would have loved for the Pirates to have acquired him. Coming into the game, Wood had a career ERA of 3.14 and has been worth at least one win above replacement every season he’s been in the bigs. And he’s only in his third season. He’s a young lefty and is under control past 2019, so money wouldn’t be an issue. And putting a young lefty to work with Ray Searage could only lead to good things.

Pieces from around the web

There were some interesting posts in the past day on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Post Gazette websites that are worth checking out.

Bill West of the Trib writes about a man employed by the Pirates whose job it is to watch games and weigh the pros and cons of challenging certain plays on the field. Very cool.

Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Post Gazette addresses a topic many of us have been wondering: when will Alen Hanson reach Pittsburgh?

Nesbitt also notes how confidence and an improved mood has had an impact on Gregory Polanco improving at the plate. I can’t say I disagree.

Thanks for tuning into the first edition of our Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, coming to you daily at 9 AM. Here’s to, hopefully, a fantastic series in St. Louis.

Next: Which pitchers could the Pittsburgh Pirates face in a Wild Card game?