Sunday, June 20, 2010

Channeling the 1960 Pirates. Bucs WIN


This is the first time in a long while that the Pirates have been able to get hits almost the whole way through the line up.  Jose Tabata had an off night, going hitless for only the second time since he's been called up, and ending a 3-game hitting streak.  The rest of the Pirates position players lit up the Indians pitchers, to the tune of 9 hits and 8 walks drawn.  Andrew McCutchen had another explosive day, going 2 for 2, drawing 3 walks and scoring 4 runs.  Garrett Jones went 1 for 4 with a walk, scored a run, and drove in a run, extending his hit streak to 10 games. Lastings Milledge went 3 for 4 with a walk and was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.  He also drove in 4 runs.  Pedro Alvarez finally got his first Major League hit, and it was a big one.  In the 5th inning, he hit a ground rule double over the low left field wall to score Garrett Jones and give the Pirates a 5-1 lead at that point.  Neil Walker and Ryan Doumit also had a hit apiece.  Even Bobby Crosby, while not getting a hit, was nonetheless able to get on base twice by drawing a pair of walks.  Overall, this was a very productive day for the Pirates' offense.  You could see it in the face of the players during the shots of the dugout in the later innings.  They were relaxed, confident, and joking around with each other.  It's great to see that, as what you normally see when looking at the dugout is a bunch of stony faces that can't wait for the game to be over.  This is the first 6+-run game for the Pirates in what feels like months, but that's only because it was the last game prior to this one that the Pirates got a W.  Speaking of Ws, Jeff Karstens took only the 2nd W for a Pirates starter since Zach Duke got one way back on May 18th against Roy Halladay.  Still a fan of Jeff Karstens.  He hasn't had a truly terrible game as a starter since May 2nd against the Dodgers.

This game was a glimpse of the future of the Pirates.  Remember this one in September, when the Pirates are closing out another losing season.  The 1960 champion Pirates, who were in attendance for a celebration of that team, all agreed that this team has the potential to explode in production without warning, similar to what happened in 2008 for Tampa Bay.  Maybe not next year, but it's not far away.

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