Friday, April 9, 2010
Opening Series Thoughts
I attended two of the three opening games, opening day and Thursday afternoon's beatdown and I left with a good feeling overall. In the first two games, the crowds were tremendous and the team competed hard, which is all we can really ask for at this point in the Neil Huntington rebuild.
I also left with a positive feeling about where things could be headed with this franchise; because in my mind, this 2010 team is really NH's team for the first time since he took the job. It's taken three seasons, but the look of this year's team is how he wanted to shape the roster. So now he can start to be held accountable as well.
As far as the games went, Bucco fans should be happy. The opener was tremendous and they battled and won an extra inning game on Wednesday. They would have lost that game last season without a doubt. I said all along while everyone was ripping the bullpen acquisitions that I liked the ne look bullpen and they pitched extremely well in the first series (Hayden Penn's outing on Wednesday excluded). With last years bullpen, the Bucs are likely 1-2 instead of 2-1. I think they will amount to a few more wins throughout the season.
As for yesterday, for those of you that jumped on the band wagon after two games, don't hop off after one bad loss. Remember that they are a young team and there are going to be days like yesterday afternoon. The defense was bad, the bats weren't there and then there was the Hayden Penn fiasco.
The thing about being young is there will be inconsistent play throughout the season. Get used to it. One big area I would like to see improvement in, and it can start tonight, is the play away from PNC Park. The Bucs finished with a league worst 22-58 road record in 2009. That can't be nearly as bad in 2010.
With a six game road trip beginning tonight in Arizona (3 at D'Backs, 3 at Giants), to keep whatever positive energy people have had about the team for the first couple days of the season, they need to win atleast three or four ballgames. They do have to face Dan Haren tomorrow, but luck out and miss Tim Lincecum in San Francisco. To improve at all, these guys must be able to win consistently on the road.
- Brandon Moss cleared waivers and reported to AAA Indy.
-Ramon Vasquez was released. The Pirates will eat his $2mil salary.
- Pedro Alvarez homered in his first AAA game.
-Delwynn Young reached base all four times at bat in his first start of the season yesterday with two walks and two doubles. The only bright spot of the game.
-The Laroche Brothers meet as opponents tonight with Adam being the D'Backs first baseman. Here is a shocker, Adam is off to an 0-12 start for the D'Backs. Bucco fans know that all too well.
-Tonight it's Charlie Morton, who I expect big things from vs. Rodrigo Lopez, a winnable game.
You can listen to a recap of yesterday's game at http://www.lexy.com/ . Sign up to follow the Pirates and you will get our broadcasts sent to you all season. http://www.lexy.com/feed/episode?id=131133 Click On that link to hear yesterday's recap.