Friday, April 29, 2016
On Stranger Tides
They worried me for a second, but the Pirates have a pretty solid record and are hitting pretty damn well in some pretty odd places. The Pirates coaching staff have this miraculous ability to turn players who nobody thought could succeed, like Jason Grilli, Juan Nicasio, John Jaso and Frankie Cervelli, into serious threats and prime tools. I do adore that, and I adore that the Pirates have spent the last five seasons being a legitimate threat in the NL Central. This does not happen often, especially after the slog that was the 2000's.
Starling Marte is one of the more important parts of this lineup, because he's one of the main home run hitters on the team, thanks to the absence of Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker (who's blowing shit up in Queens right now). He's also come a long way from his debut in 2012, and, combined with Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco, make one of the most impressive outfields in baseball right now.
The toughest part of this season is not only going to be diffusing the Cardinals, as usual, but keeping up with the Cubs. Last year's season ended because, even though they had the WC spot locked up, the Cubs still won that one-game playoff because they were hotter at that point. The Pirates need some serious momentum this year, and it involves keeping what they have right now going for another few months.
It'll be tough, but they're the 2010's Pirates. They've done tougher.
Coming Tomorrow- The little guy whose breakout team from last year has hit a slight snag.