Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – Locked Down


Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Locked down

Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Milwaukee Brewers 10-2 to move within two and a half games of first place in the NL Central. They achieved this because Josh Harrison had himself a night. Going 4-4 with a walk and two runs scored. He was absolutely dynamic and he was a late addition to the lineup because Starling Marte had the stomach flu. Michael Morse also provided a huge spark off the bench, hitting a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh inning. It was nice to have a bit of a laugher against the Brewers and it felt especially big because the Cardinals lost two games on the day to the Cincinnati Reds.

The other story of the game was a huge start from “Mr Popular” Jeff Locke. He was absolutely outstanding. He went 6.1 innings, allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven. The big thing with Jeff is always control and he was awesome as he threw first pitch strikes to 17 of the 24 batters he faced. Most fans assume that Jeff Locke will be removed from the rotation after the double header against the Chicago Cubs and they are likely still right, but what a way to go, if it was indeed Locke’s final start of the 2015 season. Jeff Locke is still a very frustrating pitcher at times, but when his control is good, he can be a very effective backend starter. I imagine he will once again be a member of the Pirates’ rotation come spring training 2016.

The Cardinals are human

Don’t look now, but the St. Louis Cardinals have lost eight of their last 10 and have allowed the Pirates to get back within two and half games of first place in the NL Central division. After the Pirates were swept in Miller Park by the Brewers, it was thought that the division race was over, but to quote Yogi Berra, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”

The Pirates have won six of their last nine games since being swept in Milwaukee and are making the final six series of the year very, very interesting. Hold onto your butts, ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a good old fashioned division title race on our hands. If everything holds serve, the September 28th-30th series against the Cardinals at PNC Park could be the BIGGEST SERIES IN PNC PARK HISTORY…take six.

I know one thing, the final stretch of the season is going to be insanely fun and I would not have it any other way. It’s going to be intense and painful at times. That’s what pennant race baseball is all about. Nothing else compares to it because you have a game basically everyday. BucTober is almost here for a third consecutive season.

Around the web

Rant sports says the Pirates must solve their first inning blues against the Milwaukee Brewers. Last night, they held the Brewer scoreless and the first inning and ran away with the ballgame. That definitely felt pretty damn good.

One team in the Pirates’ system saw their championship hopes ended as the Altoona Curve were eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs by the Bowie Baysox. The Altoona Curve still had an outstanding season and their success shows how much talent the Pirates have in their minor league system. Pirates have a ton of good, young talent just waiting for a chance to shine at the Major League level.

The Pirates unearthed a gem by trading for Francisco Cervelli says Travis Sawchik of the Tribune Review. Great read about one of the emotional leaders of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cervelli is everything the Pirates could have hoped for and more.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Minute - September 12th