Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – Batman returns


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 your way from around the web as well.

Have to capitalize on Cardinal losses

The Cardinals lost last night in blowout fashion to the Reds. The Cardinals are in a stretch now where they’ve lost six out of eight games, and the Pirates have gained almost no ground on them. Joe Starkey of 93.7 The Fan said it best last night:

The Pirates only have a difficult schedule down the stretch because they can’t beat teams like the Reds and the Brewers. There’s absolutely no excuse to do as poorly against those two teams as they have this season. We’ve been waiting all year long for the Cardinals to hit a losing stretch, and when they have, the Pirates haven’t been able to capitalize. And they’re playing easy teams in the Reds and the Brewers while the Cardinals are losing. The Pirates are beating themselves right now, and that can’t be done.

In terms of the game last night, Radhames Liz gave up three runs in extra innings. Tony Watson and Mark Melancon were given nights off by Hurdle, and who knows if that was the difference in the game. After all, the Pirates burned through the rest of their pen, and their offense seemed to be ready to walk it off multiple times in extras. If they had been able to last a couple more innings, they might have pulled out a victory.

Burnett’s return

Lost in the extra inning affair last night was A.J. Burnett‘s return to the pitching staff. Burnett didn’t make a rehab start, and had a decent outing last night after a rough first inning. Ultimately, Burnett ended up lasting five innings, giving up three runs in the process. He didn’t allow a hit after the first inning, and seemed to settle down nicely after a two-run home run in the first. This start could be considered a rehab start for him, and we should only look at it as such. His next start will be more important, and grooming him for the postseason is of utmost importance. We want to see A.J. return to his pre-All Star form, not his post-All Star, pre-injury form.

More from Pirates News

Around the net

Make sure to check out this chat transcript from Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette. He talks about the upcoming offseason, catching the Cardinals, and more. Check it out here.

Travis Sawchik has a good piece for the Tribune-Review on Jung Ho Kang and how his play has helped pave the path for future Korean Baseball Organization players. It’s a good read.

And from a couple of days ago on CBS Sports, Dayn Perry deemed the Kang signing as one of the best free agent signings of the offseason. I can’t say I disagree with him. Read it here.

Outside of the Pittsburgh Pirates, make sure to check out our posts on our site and to follow the Pirates’ minor league affiliates as some of them are competing in the playoffs right now. And here’s hoping the Pirates can buck their losing ways to the Brewers tomorrow night.

Next: What is the optimal postseason lineup for the Pittsburgh Pirates?