OFF-ence! See, the Buccos can put up some numbers. The uncertainty of when those runs will show up is mainly to blame for the annual sluggish start. Pittsburgh is coming off an 0-fer against the Cardinals, which capped an awesome 5-game skid. In fact, the wins over the Bucs helped the Redbirds snap a 5-game skid of their own.
Today, the Pirates turned up the On-ence (sorry), to keep up the current 3-game win streak with a 14-10 win. Reds’ starter Kirk Saarloos failed to record an out, and the Pirates tagged him for 5 runs before he was pulled for ex-Pirate Victor Santos. Lanny Frattare mentioned that The Great American Smallpark is a place where hits sail over the fence constantly. There were 7 homers hit today, 5 of which came from the Reds. No lead is safe in Cincinnati, so I’ll look past the 10 runs the Reds put on the board today.
The record stands at 22-27, which means you’re getting 5 more reasons to keep fans like Ronnie Florian interested.
18. Tony Armas Jr. is in the Bullpen. Your starter needs to eat up innings. Jim Tracy constantly preaches this point. Including his one relief appearance and 7 starts, Tony Armas Jr. has averaged 3.6 (I rounded up) innings per appearance. I called for his head, as did the entire Pirate fan community, it seems. The safest place for Armas is the ‘Pen, or if he can’t fix his “stuff,” (I can’t stand when analysts refer to a pitcher’s “stuff,” as in, “His stuff is nasty”) maybe he should be demoted further.
19. Ronnie Florian. Honestly. This guy makes me proud to be a Pirates fan. He is the entire embodiment of Pittsburgh. How can you not tune in to Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh, just for the hope of glimpsing the ultimate Pirates superfan? And if anyone wants to hear the perfect ‘Burgh accent, you need only click here. The wins may be uncertain, but at least Ronnie will be there to reassure you.
20. The Brewers are an April/May Flare. Shocking! This is my take on the young Brew-Crew. Its nice to see a young team excel early, but I don’t know if the Brewers acn sustain success for a full season. This year, they are 28-21. Last year on May 27th, the Brewers were 26-24. They finished 75-87. I liken them to the ’06-’07 Penguins. Their combination of youth and talent will produce a good number of wins this year, but how long will the youth serve Milwaukee? And baseball players goes through a season that’s twice as long as hockey. I’m hesitant to call the Brewers a playoff team, yet. The Buccos aren’t completely out of the race for the NL Central, and need to string together a few wins to chip away at .500, and then Milwaukee.
21. ADD Laroche is Above the Mendoza Line. He’s finally cracked .200. He needs to raise his batting average by about .100+ in the next 2-or-so games for me to be happy, though. That’s all he gets, for now.
22. Freddy Sanchez. The Defending NL Batting Champ’s first appearance as an actual reason to keep with the Buccos. Sure, he had a brief mention or so, but that was under reasons dedicated to other players/scenarios, and only because Adam Hyzdu isn’t in a Pirate uniform anymore. Up until now, Fred-Ex (because he always delivers) didn’t look suitable to defend a major title. Going 2 for 3 with 2 runs and 4 RBIs today, Freddy sits at a more-respectable .288. Its about time he gets his own mention.
One more thing. Can FSN Pittsburgh’s “new studio on the North Shore” still be considered new? They opened it at the start of the season, which is almost 1/3 of the way through. And if they coin that phrase for the rest of the season, then those Buccos commercial breaks are gonna seem a lot longer this summer. And congrats to Zach Duke for getting his 2nd win today. I would like that number to be a little more than just 2 though, Zach.