Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Pirates: Movin' On Up

Dare we say it? ... Pirates fans beginning to pay attention to the standings?

At 18-17, the Bucs awake this morning in third place in the N.L. Central, two games back of St. Louis and just one game behind Cincinnati. The Pirates have the eighth-best winning percentage (.514) of the 16 teams in the National League. They're competitive. Hey, it's a step in the right direction.

They have a good chance to keep the momentum going vs. the Dodgers tonight, with Kevin Correia on the mound vs. LHP Ted Lilly (2-3, 4.93).

At 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA, Correia is tied for NL lead with five wins -- same as Roy Halladay (5-1, 2.19 ERA) -- and two other guys, Aaron Harang, San Diego, and Kyle McClellan, St. Louis.

From today's Post-Gazette ...

"With the win, the Pirates (18-17) have a winning record at the deepest point in a season since May 29, 2004, when they were 23-22."

And there's this quote from umpire Mike DiMuro, the umpire last night who blew the call on Tabata's (non-) catch last night. When LA manager Don Mattingly asked him if he was sure Tabata made the catch, DiMuro said ...

"I told Don, 'Who's 100 percent sure of anything in life?'

And we love this quote from Clint Hurdle ...

"You just play the game," Hurdle said. "And you get breaks and you don't get breaks. You just play through them the best you can."

Pretty much applies to any situation in life, eh, readers?

Or, as the late Hunter S. Thompson wrote, "You buy the ticket. You take the ride."

With a lefty on the mound for LA, it's fun to speculate which right-handed bats will be in the lineup for the Pirates tonight, and at what positions. Matt Diaz probably will start in right field (in place of the left-handed Garrett Jones); Chris Snyder will catch (since Ryan Doumit caught the last two games), and that's probably it, although it might be interesting to see if Steve Pearce plays instead of Lyle Overbay, whose bat finally may be coming around a bit.

Manager Clint Hurdle probably wants to get at-bats for Pedro Alvarez (coming off a minor injury), who ended the game last night with a spectacular diving backhand stab and throw-out. Hurdle might also want to save Brandon Wood as a right-handed bat off the bench late in the game.

We'll be writing about football again, soon. For now, baseball is the only game in town.Link
Addendum: According to today's edition of The Los Angeles Times ...

Asked whether the Los Angeles media should be as excited if the Dodgers ever hit the .500 mark, Mattingly replied, "We don't want to be a .500 club, that's for sure. I don't know what's going on here, but if that's what we end up being, I'm going to be disappointed."

The Dodgers are 16-20. Let's make 'em 16-21.