Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call: Split Decisions

jrollison
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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.

Split decisions

The Pittsburgh Pirates split a doubleheader against the Cubs last night. Maybe you heard. Maybe you were one of the many to voice your displeasure for Clint Hurdle‘s lineup in game two. After trotting out something akin to his usual lineup (if there is such a thing) in game one, Clint gave us this lineup for the nightcap:

It seemed that all of Pittsburgh rose in consternation at this lineup. Sure, seeing both Sean Rodriguez and Pedro Florimon in the lineup at the same time can be cause for concern, but only momentarily. I too raised an eyebrow at the lineup until I quickly realized that this was the second game of a doubleheader. A quick glance at Pirates twitter would tell me that this lineup can only be considered a sign of the apocalypse and that I should call State Farm about asteroid insurance. I would post some of the more colorful criticisms, but I won’t, because we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

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I will not, and never will, tell anyone how to be a fan of any team. Period. End of story. Yet I have to ask – is a doubleheader lineup really worth getting this upset about? This lineup is not above criticism – surely, Pedro Florimon didn’t have to get a start. With the organization preaching flexibility, surely the club could have rolled the dice with Josh Harrison at SS opening the door for Travis Snider to get a start over Rodriguez. Mike Morse was definitely deserving of a start, and if Aramis Ramirez didn’t play, that would have been two straight game days (3 games) without the slugger. Thus, the need to play Ramirez opens the door for Jung Ho Kang to get a breather, which Clint Hurdle is in favor of doing down the stretch.

In Spring Training, most were in favor of the Pirates mimicking the Golden State Warriors’ approach of regular rest for key players. We touted this team’s depth being an added bonus of sorts to keep key cogs fresh.

Just because the team unexpectedly found themselves 2.5 games back of the division does not mean it’s prudent to deviate from this idea in a doubleheader. If this had been the lineup today, I would absolutely be on board with giving it sharp criticism.

But it wasn’t. It was the second game of a day/night doubleheader. Hurdle, manager of a team that is 30 games over .500, did what he thought was best for his team’s long-term success. He saw past the second game. Fans didn’t. They want the win the division at all costs, yet they also want the Pirates to completely ditch the plan that has been a huge catalyst for their success.

You just can’t have it both ways.

Pirates talk around the web

Skipping straight ahead to our usual link roundup so we can move on as soon as possible…

Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Post-Gazette has a great read on Mark Melancon

Dejan Kovacevic has a great retort to those that still want to spend time criticizing Hurdle’s lineup.

That does it for this week’s wake-up call. Hopefully it truly lived up to its title and slapped us all back into reality.

Next: Pirate split double header vs the Cubs

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