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I can relate to you on this one - I'm just a few years behind you. I remember watching that 72 game with my Mom and Dad, and physically getting sick after Bench's home run. I had a bad feeling for what was coming and starting walking up the stairs to my bedroom, but lingered just long enough to see the wild pitch. Now after saying all that, I have to say that the '92 loss was even harder. Just one pitch! But 2013 is a new team, a team that can do what the 72 and 92 teams failed to do. Let's go Bucs.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on The end is the beginning is the end
Pat, actually, it looks like Locke will be going tomorrow night against Wainwright, and Charlie will be pitching Sunday against Wacha. I too am worried about Locke, but we need a lefty against the Cards for at least one game, and we need to see if the time off has fixed Locke's psyche (and pitching). I'm not optimistic about Locke, and I pray that Hurdle has him on a short leash. (Short as in walk two batters and give up a solid hit and he's out.) Wacha seems like a decent pitcher and the Pirates historically don't do well against pitchers with little history, but I trust Charlie. With Morneau and Byrd, we are definitely a better hitting team, especially against these right handers, and I think we have a good shot for success this weekend. Let's go Bucs!
3 months ago on AJ Burnett and the Cardinals
Pat, I just want to say again that your writing is some of the best I've read, and today's edition exemplifies that. Simply outstanding. Thank you.
Let's go Bucs!
3 months ago on 81 wins
@justinzeth - Good point about the DL. I actually still think Locke can get back to some semblance of his first-half self if he gets a few weeks of rest. And some good coaching to respond to hitters' adjustments and his pitching philosophy. Despite the depressing loss, I think we can still win the division. It's certainly less likely than it was a few weeks ago, but I was encouraged by the improved hitting yesterday against a pitcher who has shut us down before, I think that the pickup of Byrd is a major coup, though it is offset by the continuing unavailability of Marte. Lambo and Pie both impressed me yesterday; I think Lambo may actually be adjusting to being in the bigs. My biggest concern going forward is first base. Would like us to pick up Morales (preferably) or Morneau there, but that pickup seems very unlikely. One other positive point: Tony Watson. He has turned into a real shutdown artist.
3 months, 1 week ago on Game 130: Brewers 7 Pirates 6
A frustrating game all around with Hurdle's continuing maladroit handling of the bullpen. I think it's time to give Locke a rest, maybe a 15-day trip to the DL due to a tired arm. His top speed fastball seems to have dropped markedly over the last few games, and his energy and confidence are both at lows. Now, who to replace him with? Against the Cards, I'd give Johnson another go. After that, Gomez, or Johnson, or other September call-ups. Even though we're in a pennant race and need him, Locke's current performance is not what we need. One thing to keep in mind about this series: the Brewers may not be a great team right now, but they do know how to hit.
Pat (my first name as well), I think that's 35 games left on the schedule now, rather than 45.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on 75 wins
Pat, I'm not sure I'd say that Mr. Hefner is not very good: From MLB.com,
"Jeremy Hefner is 4-6 with a 3.39 ERA this season, emerging as a dependable and consistent starter for the Mets. He has given up only one earned run in each of his last three starts. Since June 4, Hefner's ERA is just 1.64, which is the best in the Major Leagues in that stretch.
In Hefner's seven starts during that span, he has 37 strikeouts and eight walks. And the Mets have taken advantage of the stellar performances he has been giving them. They have won the last five games Hefner has started.
Hefner said several factors led him to this type of resurgence.
'We made a mechanical adjustment a couple months ago, toward the end of May," Hefner said. "I have a little more deceptiveness, and the velocity's gone up a little bit. Playing great defense and we're scoring runs. I've got a few more wins because we scored some more runs.' "
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Finishing strong
I love Russell Martin. But playing him in the outfield is asinine. He has at least some experience at playing 3rd and 1st, so play him there. And maybe get some real OF help - right and left handed bat varieties - from the minors, even if they're not quite ready for prime time. But this is the kind of "management" which led to disasters last year. Somehow the image of Manny Sanguillen in RF after Roberto was gone comes to mind; can Russell at least wear a batting helmet out there?
6 months ago on Russell Martin is playing the outfield tonight
Exactly right! Let's go Bucs!
6 months, 1 week ago on Game 54: Pirates 1 Tigers 0
My initial impression was that this was a terrible call. However, the rule doesn't require that the play be made in the infield. And it doesn't say that that the play would have been made with minimal effort. The rule actually says "An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out..." An INFIELD FLY is defined only as a fair fly ball - it doesn't have to be limited to the infield. The play does have to be made by a player who had been stationed in the infield But the level of effort has to be ordinary not minimal. The rule also says that "When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare "Infield Fly" for the benefit of the runners." This is probably the weakest part of the call, but one could say that the ump didn't see it as an Infield fly till the moment before he made the call. I personally thought Kozma was going to make the catch tll he backed off at the last moment. I also don't think his backpedaling at that point looked extraordinary.
Now all that being said, while I have long admired the Braves, I do have a grudge against them going back to the 1992 playoffs, thanks to Francisco Cabrera and Sid Bream. One of the hardest of all the mny bad memories accumulated of my beloved Pirates.
1 year, 2 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.bloguin.com/theoutsidecorner/2012-articles/october/the-braves-get-screwed-by-an-infield-fly-call.html
I appreciate your mixed and variable feelings about the Bucs and WHYGAVS. All I can tell you that I have enjoyed your posts throughout the season, even during this yearly fadeaway. And I appreciate your effort to keep the blog going despite other demands and the frustrations of the last two months. Hope to keep hearing from you but best wishes regardless. BTW, I've been a Pirates fan since the 60's, and despite the frustration and disappointment, I've been more interested in our team this year than any other year in the past 20. Despite management and front office errors and questions, I do feel we are getting oh so close to being viable again.
1 year, 2 months ago on 20
I might should have checked out of tonight's game too; I made the mistake of checking it periodically on GameDay. The first time I was excited to see the Pirates had a 1-0 lead after the top of the first; then Brandon Phillips hit the very first pitch out to tie the game. It was all downhill from there. Again. I still think we're almost a competitive team: all we need is better hitting, pitching, fielding, and managing. We also don't seem to be a very good team when it comes to executing the fundamentals. I think that may reflect on coaching at all levels. Nearly every other team seems to be more fluid in the fundamentals. Or am I just reacting to the latest glum performance? Whatever. 0.500 is but three losses away.
1 year, 2 months ago on There is a game tonight | August 2012
Another great blog. I understand your comments about Wandy, but after throwing only 89 pitches, most of them very well, I thought he was still good to go. Leaving him one more batter was not a guarantee of success, but I think most reasonable people would have had a hard time criticizing that decision given how well Wandy had pitched and was still pitching. BTW, why is no one commending the Pirates at picking him up at such a cheap price?
I think it's too late to turn things around, and I'm now resigned to another losing season. With the way we've played over the last month+, it's no longer rational to talk about playoffs even though they're still theoretically possible. Not having Walker has hurt defense and offense, and not having a healthy Lunchbox has hurt offense. But although the Pirates are not stacked with even average players, they have enough talent to be competitive, much more than they have over the last month. I do think we again need a new hitting coach, and a new manager as well. Don't expect either of those things to happen though.
1 year, 2 months ago on Game 139: Reds 4 Pirates 3 | August 2012
Suggest changing the title to "The Pirates are playing weird."
1 year, 3 months ago on The Pirates are playing at 6:35 and that's weird | August 2012
I think Shin Soo Choo would be a good addition. Although he apparently is no longer available, Justin Upton also would be a great addition. But I don't feel comfortable trading Marte for either. I think Cleveland might be agreeble to a combination of Presley, Correa, and a lower level prospect, especially for outfield help or pitching.
1 year, 4 months ago on The one where we talk about Shin-Soo Choo | July 2012