Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call: Check your rearview mirror


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.

What was that saying about objects in the rearview mirror?

On August 1, the Pittsburgh Pirates held a 4 game lead on the Chicago Cubs. Today a disappointing loss to the Reds coupled with the Cubs shellacking the Cardinals conspired to cut the Pirates lead on the Cubs to 2 scant games.

More from Rum Bunter

This is concerning for several reasons, the most prominent being the sudden realization that the Bucs may have to travel to Wrigley Field for the wild card game. One shudders to think at the electricity that would coarse through that barn should that occur. Yesterday on Rum Bunter Radio, Tyler and I discussed the remaining schedules for the Pirates and Cubs. The Cubs have a slight advantage, with a four game series with the Philadelphia Phillies being the key differentiation. Both teams have lengthy road trips – The Cubs are currently in the middle of an 11-game road trip – yet the Pirates have to face the Dodgers in LA as well a four games in Coors Field. The good news? The Pirates and Cubs face each other seven more times with four of those games at PNC Park.

Unlike their gap with the St. Louis Cardinals, the setting for the NL Wild Card game will likely be decided the proper way.  In head-to-head fashion.

The ripple effect of roster moves for fans

Rather than sit here and dissect Clint Hurdle‘s decision to skip Gerrit Cole to rest him, or sitting here and poring over a particular lineup decision, I’m going to talk directly to Pirates fans.

Guys – we need to honestly ask ourselves: what has changed over the past two weeks? Honestly, nothing. We still chase the Cardinals, and we are looking like locks for the Wild Card Game. Granted, that can be frustrating, but why all the hate? Sure, I’m with you – I don’t think that Jeff Locke should be relied upon to start every fifth day. But A.J. Burnett is coming back, and Cole could use a small rest. I mean, look – now Cole has a hand in every big series coming up. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we want? I happen to think so.

As for the lineup, let’s remember that it is still only September 7th. The Pirates do not have many off-days left, and as such time off becomes paramount. I would rather see Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer, Aramis Ramirez and others get their days off now rather than later.

Clint is a player’s managers for sure; but he is also no fool. I fully predict that as we inch closer to October, a regular lineup will start to take shape.

Pirates talk on the web

Stephen Nesbitt of the Post-Gazette has a jam-packed notebook after a busy day in Cincy.

Very interesting study referenced by Matt Gajtka of dkpittsburghsports.com – does pitching or hitting win games?

Next: Prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes learning how to be a pro