Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a 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 out a few links to some good Pirates-related items from around the web.
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
A nice release of tension
Last night the Pirates busted out of their funk with a big 9-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The offense finally looked like the elite one we saw all of August and not the timid one we saw in Milwaukee. The Pirates’ bats really exploded in a big way, especially Starling Marte, who went 3-5 with three RBI. After an 0-17 skid, he’s now 8 for his last 15 and finally looking like the player Pirates’ fans are used to watching.
Andrew McCutchen also had himself a night in St. Louis. He went 2-4 with a walk and three runs scored. He was every bit the MVP candidate that won the NL Player of the Month award in August. Andrew McCutchen has really taken his game up to another level and if the Pirates want to catch the Cardinals in the NL Central, he will have to take it up another notch, which is something I think we all expect him to do. He’s pushing towards another top three MVP finish and if he’s big in September, he could very well win his second award.
Gregory Polanco also got a hit to break his brief funk. He went 1-5, but hit the ball hard on pretty much every out. His outs were struck at 101MPH, 98MPH, 98MPH and 96MPH. Sometimes luck just isn’t on your side, but I think we can expect Polanco to bust out of his funk in a big, big way very soon. He’s still tattooing the ball and eventually the balls will find some grass.
Stuff keeps HAPPening
J.A. Happ had another great start as a Pirate and this one may have been his best yet. He shut down the Cardinals as he went seven innings, allowed zero runs on three hits and struck out eight. He was absolutely outstanding and kept the Cardinals off-balance all night.
I am not sure if it’s Ray Searage or just a good stretch by Happ, but either way I am glad it’s HAPPening. It’s been so fun to watch and who would have thought a month ago that Happ would play the role of stopper and do it successfully? Even the fans defending the trade never would have guessed he’d be this good in this short of time.
Happ has always had swing and miss stuff, but he’s utilizing better than he has in years. At a certain point, the Pirates should consider building a statue to honor Ray Searage as he is the Patron Saint of Reclamation Projects. I am just glad he’s on our side.
Pirates talk around the web
Viva El Birdos asks how bad must the Cardinals play for the Pirates to catch them?