Mediocre Better Than Bad in Pittsburgh for the Pirates


Andrew McCutchen photo taken from Google Images




Evan Meek

Image via Wikipedia

Pittsburgh got rolling into 2011 with a 4-3 first week.  Think about it, they can finish 25 games over .500 if they keep this up.  So far, there have been a few surprises as well as a few disappointments.
Since this is the Pirates, let’s start with the disappointments.
Evan Meek has gotten blasted each time out for the Bucs.  Meek, the lone All-Star representative for the Pirates last season, has appeared in four games and given up the lead in three of those four appearances.  Three blown saves.  The red flag should be up and he needs to start locating instead of overpowering every hitter he is facing.
The effort for the home opener was unsatisfactory.  Colorado came into Pittsburgh Thursday and dominated the game in every way in front of a rare crowd at PNC Park.  Paul Maholm got shelled and the offense was helpless.  I’m sure Clint Hurdle wants to beat the Rockies more than anyone else in the home dugout, but if they play as bad as they did for the opener, it could be disastrous.  A consistent effort is needed.
On to some positives…
The Pirates won both road series to open the season defeating two of the National League’s best teams in Chicago and St. Louis.  Neil Walker has shown no sign of a sophomore slump as he was batting .333 and among the National League RBI lead with 8.  Walker has been clutch and has gotten his moneys worth at the dish so far this year.
Andrew McCutchen is looking like the balanced player everyone thought he would be.  Cutch is hitting for power, hitting for average, stealing a base, and playing good defense as an added bonus.  The Pirates would be wise to blow the cobwebs off of that checkbook and lock him in as a cornerstone for future success.
Kevin Correia has pitched like a champion.  He faced two very potent offenses in his first couple of starts and got wins in both games.  Correia is a fighter, but the knock on him has been his ability to pitch against inferior teams.  So circle your magnetic refrigerator schedule for the Houston game to check this theory.
The uncertain…
Ryan Doumit 19:42, 4 September 2007 . . Xihear...

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Ryan Doumit is trying.  I think the converted catcher, turned first baseman, pushed to the outfield, and back to catcher has worked as hard as anyone on this team to come into this season in shape and ready to play.  The nagging injuries which seem to hamper Doumit every couple of months are surfacing already.

Joel Hanrahan is still someone I do not perceive as a closer.  He has saved every win the Pirates have this season, but he is flammable and can disseminate on any given night.  I still think he will be relieved of this role once Meek gets his act together, but for now, it’s been a successful voyage for Hanrahan.



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