Giants/Pirates: Series Preview
With a good series against a formidable Atlanta Braves team over and done with, the Giants enter a series against a lesser team with some momentum. The Pirates are filled to the rafters with potential on the hitting side, with guys like Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones leading the rejuvenated offense. Pitching-wise, things aren’t so pretty, with no real “ace” to speak of. Essentially it’s an organization that’s drafted guys like Bryan Bullington and Daniel Moskos over better options, so selecting and developing arms has not exactly been a strong point.
I took a few observations from the Braves series that hopefully carry over here. First and foremost was the resilience this team seems to have compared to last year’s version. Stuck watching the first game of the series on my phone with bad reception, my experience consisted of Tim Hudson completely shutting down a team that was swinging early in the count and getting nowhere. Given my time constraints, I missed everything from about the 6th inning on.
Needless to say, I’ve been conditioned to think that any deficit of two or more runs is insurmountable. Imagine my surprise when I checked the final score to see that the Giants had rallied off of Billy Wagner on the strength of an Edgar Renteria home run, and then won in the 13th on an infield single. After watching the highlights about 60 times to relive the excitement I’d missed, I was brought back down to Earth by the first loss of the young season thanks to an inability to catch the ball and a complete lack of offense. After rebounding to a rain-soaked victory on Sunday, the Giants have come out of the first week of the season with a 5-1 record playing solid baseball.
With the Pirates in town now, there’s definitely no shortage of exciting young ballplayers even with the Jason Heyward show exiting the Bay Area. Andrew McCutchen leads a new-look offense for a Pirates franchise that hasn’t had a record over .500 since Barry Bonds was still in Pittsburgh. It’s been a pretty grim decade and a half for what’s left of the Pirates fan-base. Giants fans (myself included) freaked out after four years below .500. Imagine that frustration coupled with a franchise player leaving, and multiply it five times. Hell, Yankee fans get upset after not missing the postseason for one year. It’s hard not to root for a franchise as down on their luck at the Pirates. That’s why the world roots for the Cubs to end their 100+ year World Series drought soon rather than later.
As for the scarcity of my posting recently, expect that to come to an end as well. I’m coming off of a few weeks where consistent blogging really wasn’t a possibility. That said, I’ll be back on posting at least every other day, I encourage you all to keep checking in for new content.