Pirates Rolling After ASG Break, Time for Winning Feast
With tonight’s win, the Pirates are now 12 games over .500 and looking to pick up steam as they prepare for one of the easiest stretches of games anyone could ever hope for. The Pirates dropped a series in Milwaukee, which is somewhat expected. The team just struggles in the land of beer. The bounced back nicely on the road in Colorado to win 2/3 even after the Bucs dropped a heart breaker in the ninth of game one.
Tonight, clutch hitting and fielding from Neil Walker helped the Pirates eek out a Correia mess. The Pirates fell behind early but Walker’s late homer combined with a Clint Barmes RBI put the Pirates out in front. Grili and Hanrahan shut the door (not as effectively as one would like, but good enough) and the game was over. Watch Hanrahan over this stretch. Tonight, he put the tying run on third base and struck out two to finish out the ninth after struggling early again. He is far too hittable this year and should get lots of work over these next couple of weeks. Let’s see if he improves.
So a .500 post break road trip (exactly what you should hope for) is now followed by one of the easiest stretches of games in all of baseball. The Pirates take on the Marlins who don’t have Hanley Ramirez at 100% due to punching inanimate objects, Giancarlo Stanton or Heath Bell, huge parts of their puzzle. And this team can’t pitch very well. (Proof: none of the pitchers put out in a ONE RUN ballgame had an ERA lower than Kevin Correia’s.) This three game home set is followed by three games against the Cubs, three in Houston and then three in Chicago.
So to recap, the Pirates get a crippled NL East doormat and then perhaps the two worst teams in baseball until the end of the month when they play Cincy. This is the time for the Pirates to gain some games in the division. By the time we head off to face the Reds, the Pirates should be 15 games over the .500 mark or better. As crazy as that sounds, that is a real possibility.
Let’s Go Bucs, take care of business, and let’s win this thing.