The Pirates were rained out of their game with the Nationals yesterday and will play a day night doubleheader today. The Pirates have finally captured the attention of the national media. The main theme is, are the Pirates for real? Many are not believers, saying that the Pirates are playing out of their minds, or things are going their way. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is true, is that the so-called experts, can’t stand looking so bad. Even though I thought this team would be a contender, when few people did, they are playing better than even I thought they would. Let’s take a look at why the national media thinks the Pirates are off to such a good start.
The Pirates are playing out of their minds. If you look at the stats the Pirates are quite good but they are at the bottom of the top 10 in the important stats. They are below average in the overall fielding stat. They do lead the league in stolen bases but unlike the Tampa Bay Rays they are not on top of almost every batting stat. The same can be said for the pitching. They are in good solid position when it comes to the most important pitching stats, but they are not leading the league. I will go into their stats in more detail at the 29-game report. The point is these are not stats of a team that is playing out of their minds.
Things are going the Pirates way. Wrong again media moron. Things have not gone the Pirates way, especially on the injury front. I thought losing Oneil Cruz would be the loss that sent this team on a downward spiral, and I think it did, but for only one game. They quickly shook it off and got right back on the winning track. Right now, the Pirates have 7 pitchers that are either about to come off the shelf or are on the shelf. Let’s count them: Max Kranick, J. T. Brubaker, Chase De Jong, Will Crowe, Mike Burrows, Rob Zastryzny, and Jarlin Garcia. All of these pitchers, most likely would have had big roles, or pitched on the major league team this year. Jarlin Garcia was going to be a major piece of the bullpen, and there is no timetable for his return. Some of this group will return in the next couple of weeks and it will be interesting to see what the Pirates do. The Pirates are showing a surprising amount of depth. There have been a lot of games this year where the Pirates had some really bad luck. Now this is going to happen during the course of a long season, but it was not like the Pirates got a huge number of breaks during this 26 game stretch.
Are Pirates going to keep playing close to .700 ball, of course not but who is? But is this team for real, absolutely. This team, in my opinion, was always going to be solid. I felt that they would be playing meaningful games in August and September. Like every team, I am sure they will go through a bad spell. In the long run, the Pirates are a contending team, with a good chance of making the playoffs, and may be the surprise story of the decade.