Well for the past two or three months you knew it wasn't going to be a winning season for the Pirates, but tonight at the Park we call PNC it was made certain that the Pirates will NOT finish over the .500 mark for the 18th straight season. Like I said, not surprising, not something that should be Earth shattering.
This might be a story on SportsCenter, might make news in other places, but it is a moot point in my mind. People are going to talk smack and endless sports show are going to poke fun and mock the team, management, fans and city. You know what? I don't care. The team is moving in the right direction and we finally have management that gets "it".
The team is in the right direction, but if you expected this team to get close to .500 when the Calvary showed up on the scene a while ago then something is wrong with you. This is a bad team. They will be bad next year, but not as bad. This is a progression. Turning around a program doesn't happen overnight, especially not how bad the Pirates system was three or so years ago.
Tonight's game was pretty frustrating as the Mets scored three runs in the first inning. They had five hits, one of them was actually legitimate. For real. Karstens has been pretty stable on the bump this year, but tonight it was a lot of bad luck. Three bleeders and a ground ball that got through. Nothing you can do about that, just a microcosm of what Pirates baseball has been like this season.
Some will bitch and moan about JR not hitting for Sean Gallagher in the fourth inning, but I have no problem with letting him it. To recap for those who missed, there were two outs, runners on second and third with the Pirates down 7-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning. JR let Gallagher hit for himself and needless to say nothing came of it.
Listen, he is your long guy. He has been pitching pretty decent as of late and its the fourth inning. No need to burn a bench guy and your long guy. You burn a bench guy there then you are burning one every time a pitcher comes to hit, at least two more times after that. Plus you have five more innings to score five runs if your pitching holds. Lets not get it twisted, this pen is not very good and they eat a lot of innings. Gallagher has been pitching well and nobody else has so suck it up in the fourth and let you bats try to come through.
The Pirates have been pretty good at getting guys on early in the inning and getting nothing from it. Getting two runners on with no outs and getting nobody in is not going to win you games, but alas, that is Pirates baseball. You deal with it and just hope it is going to change.
Sure this marks the 18th straight year, but I can see some light. There is genuine hope (in my opinion) that the Pirates will get this turned around, but you are still going to have to suffer. I think of this year as "rock bottom". From rock bottom there is only one place to go, up. Lets hope we start going up.