In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.
For a moment, just a moment, they looked like that team we all know and love. That team that clawed its way to the 2013 Wild Card Game, and back there again in 2014.
After falling 4 runs behind the LA Dodgers early, the Pittsburgh Pirates showed signs of life. A five run 3rd inning, thanks to heroics by Starling Marte, Josh Harrison and John Jaso, gave the Buccos a lead in the game. It was like a Vitamin B shot for the guys in the dugout and took mountains of pressure off of starter Jameson Taillon, who had another uncharacteristic start.
I tweeted this:
It's early, but don't count the Pirates out!
— Joy Frank-Collins (@joyfc) August 23, 2017
Sometimes, I’m a little clairvoyant. Although, it doesn’t exactly take a touch of supernatural powers to predict the Pirates’ fate these days.
That lead didn’t last long – in the top of the 4th Chris Taylor singled, scoring Yasiel Puig – tying the game. In the top of the 6th, Johnny Barbato coughed up a line-drive single to Corey Seager, scoring Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers the lead.
That’s when I went to bed.
I’ve sat through a lot of bad baseball. A LOT. I mean, in 2017, I regularly watch the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Toronto Blue Jays for crying out loud. It takes a lot for me to turn off the TV mid-game, just ask my family. But last night, I’d had enough.
And maybe it’s because of that five-run third that I finally said uncle. That inning proved what the players always say, “Hitting is infectious.” It was crack-of-bat after crack-of-bat, running hard out of the box, taking advantage of fielding miscues, mid-2010’s Pittsburgh Pirates baseball at its best. It was a run-in-from-the-kitchen-while-you’re-trying-to-refill-your-wine-because-the-hits-just-keep-coming inning that breathed life into Pirates fans. People started doing the math in their heads to determine if they could still make the wildcard – Pirates twitter even got happy. Then POOF – it was over.
And that’s how this season goes.
Sure, the team’s hit peaks and valleys like this since the 2013 Wildcard run – but the peaks are getting fewer and farther apart and those valleys are deep and wide.
I’m forever an optimist, so I’m not giving up. I never give up. Even when they’re out, it’s still baseball. And even bad baseball is better than the long, cold winter.
Baseball Talk on the Web
- Jonah Keri is a unique voice in baseball and his storytelling is unparalleled. He gives a first-person account of the epic 6:14 Montreal Expos vs. LA Dodgers 22-inning game, in which Youppi! was ejected.
- Hardball times has a fascinating long-form piece about Don Baylor’s childhood.
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