Well ladies and gents, I know you missed me. After the Penguins were dumped I was pretty much out for the count for some time. I was here to do some Steelers draft stuff but other than throwing up the live blogs (which you should be going to for every Pirates game) I have been pretty much a waste of space on the blog roll.
Work has been busy, and it still will be for the next couple of weeks, but I need to get back into the action and get some of thoughts out there, just in case any of you were missing it.
Since I have been away the Pirates have been playing some inspiring a baseball, even going over .500 a few nights ago before dropping a pair to the Dodgers.
Last night was about as mud as my blogging as been. A bad loss to get the team back to .500 and tonight it was another loss, maybe just as bad even though the score might not indicate that.
The Bucs got dominated by Hiroki Kuroda who only gave up three Pirates hits in seven innings of scoreless work. The Pirates bats were out to lunch with Xavier Paul, Ronny Cedeno, Pedro Alvarez and Brandon Wood getting the only Pirates hits. The Bucs only had one real chance to tack on some runs when they had runners on second and thidr with two outs but Chris Snyder struck out to end the threat.
The offense hasn't been all that great so far this season, but it has been especially bad when Paul Maholm has been on the mound. Paul has made eight starts this year and the Pirates have only scored 11 runs in those eight starts. I mean I know there are times when an offense might go cold for a week or 10 days but when you can't scratch even a run and a half for your starters then you have some problems. I know that the Pirates don't go out there thinking that Paul in on the bump and decide not to score runs, but it still is kind of perplexing.
Overall Paul had a really nice game. Went six innings, gave up two runs on five hits and had five walks. The five walks might seem like a lot but two of those were intentional, so nothing really to talk about there. Paul had good control tonight and just had an unfortunate inning where he gave up a pair. Can't expect to win though when your team can't even get a run in.
Just a frustrating game all around for the Pirates. The defense wasn't really that bad but then again the Dodgers really didn't have many base runners on the day.
With a team construced as it is streaks of wins and losses are going to happen. That is the nature of baseball. It sucks, but that's how it works sometimes. The Pirates have not been very consistent at home this season, but they still have a chance to split the series with the Dodgers with their best pitcher on the mound tomorrow.
I know a lot of people have been getting up in arms about the Pirates being around the .500 mark. I have not really been one of those people. First off, it is May. Sure it is really cool that the Pirates are playing around .500 baseball, but I am more focused on HOW they are play not what their reocord is. To be honest this team should have a few more wins. The staff has been throwing lights out but the offense has been lacking. With Tabata, Alvarez and McCutching playing well below their ability it is kind of shocking how well they are playing, record wise.
Now, I am not saying this isn't fun. This is sure as hell a lot better than the Bucs being 10 games under already. This team is clearly head and shoulders better than last year. Clint Hurdle seems to have lit a little bit of a fire under the guys and they seem to be taking to it. While Hurdle hasn't always made the best decisions it is still a fun team to watch. They will get better during the season and it is going to be even more fun to watch.
The great thing about baseball is that there is always another game tomorrow. Another chance to get back to .500.