Saturday, May 11, 2019
Not So Jolly Roger
About three weeks ago, the Pirates had the strongest rotation in the NL, arguably.
At one time, they had Chris Archer in a comeback year, Joe Musgrove's wicked strikeout material, Trevor Williams' consistency, Jameson Taillon's long-game work, and Jordan Lyles' under-the-radar come-up. And with those five in peak form, they cruised to the top of the NL Central standings.
Well...Archer and Taillon are hurt, Musgrove is slumping and we're left with Williams, Lyles and shaky stuff from Nick Kingham and Steven Brault. And the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers are all playing better than their team right now.
....what a difference a few weeks makes.
Look, it's not a death sentence for the team, and it's not indicative of the rest of the roster, but...if three out of five rotation options are letting you down, and if two important bullpen arms just got injured, then not even a strong lineup can save you. Even if Josh Bell, Adam Frazier, Melky Cabrera and Gregory Polanco are all lifting this team, it's for nothing if the pitching keeps dropping the ball. And yes, there may be some improvement on the way, and Archer may be back soon, but...that's not gonna un-drop all those games from the last few weeks.
The Pirates need to fight back. This could easily be a division that bobs between the Cubs, Cards and Brewers, and it could be that simple, but I do think the Pirates have enough to challenge those teams and at least attempt to compete. They still have some big pieces that could challenge even the toughest of NL Central teams.
So...it may look bleak now, but I don't think the Pirates are out of it yet.
Coming Tonight: I feel like the AL needs it's own Reds. Like, an extremely fun last-place team that's kind of pathetic but still entertaining. He's the ace for said AL team.