Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Pirates can take sigh of relief ... but not for long

      
  1. #1
    Palmetto Steel's Avatar
    Status : Palmetto Steel is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 9, 2009
    Posts : 23,379
    Threads : 3263
    Last Online : Nov-30-2015 @ 06:36 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Pirates can take sigh of relief ... but not for long

    Pirates can take sigh of relief ... but not for long
    Players preaching confidence, defiance in face of dire forecasts

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010
    By Dejan Kovacevic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    [IMGR]http://i40.tinypic.com/1sjlom.jpg[/IMGR]In the hours leading up to the Pirates' opener Monday, it took little to see the mood was tense. Players mostly kept to themselves, there was no music, little joking, and an awful lot of fidgeting with bats and gloves that already had been fidgeted plenty.

    Nervous, anyone?

    It was not just the young guys, either.

    Brendan Donnelly, the 38-year-old setup reliever who once won a World Series game and has pitched in 354 others, gave up two soft hits in the eighth inning to create some trouble.

    His thought process?

    "First thing I thought was, this game right here for this team is huge," Donnelly would recall later. "It was a just-don't-screw-it-up kind of thing."


    He did not, striking out Los Angeles' Russell Martin and Andre Ethier with two terrific third strikes, and the Pirates went on to drub the Dodgers, 11-5, at PNC Park.

    But that "just-don't-screw-it-up" sentiment might have best expressed why so many of the Pirates visibly approached that opener with apprehension: Given the team's 17-year losing, a miserable second half to 2009 and maybe an even more miserable spring training, one can only imagine how the public might have reacted if they had lost. Or worse, if they had been embarrassed.

    As it was, of course, they won not only the game but also vocal support from the throbbing capacity crowd of 39,024.

    Garrett Jones, after slugging two home runs, spoke with gusto about the crowd's effect, moved to the point of mangling metaphors: "That crowd ... it gets your butterflies pumping and your adrenaline going. You feel so strong on defense. Any aches and pains you have, they all go away when you get between the lines and hear a crowd like that."

    Now, imagine the reverse effect, and one might understand how that opener represented a sigh of relief.

    "Oh, yeah, absolutely," third baseman Andy LaRoche said. "It'a great win, a big win for us and the city of Pittsburgh. It's a little confidence boost. We had a tough spring."

    From there, imagine how another victory in the second game tonight -- 7:05 first pitch at PNC -- might feel even more satisfying because it would involve more than an exhale.

    It would be taking a series from the Dodgers, a pennant contender.

    It would be closing in on a sweep before a six-game trip to the West Coast.

    It would be ...

    Well, even that probably is getting too far ahead.

    "It's just one game and one win, and we need to just try to take that approach into the next one," Jones said. "It's a long season, and there are going to be ups and downs."

    Still, one area that has most assuredly not fluctuated since the beginning of spring training has been the air of defiance about this group.

    Most players have heard and read the last-place predictions, including the many forecasting 100 or more losses. And they have heard and read much worse than that, especially in the final few days of that 7-21-1 spring. But, rather than discard or dismiss such material, they have elected to embrace it.

    In fact, it appears to have become their glue.

    "We know the stuff that's out there," catcher Ryan Doumit said. "But you know what? Our spring training didn't really tell the tale. We've got some exciting players in here, a lot of talent, and we're going to surprise a lot of people this year."

    "We have to believe in ourselves, and I think we do," shortstop Ronny Cedeno said. "There are good players here. We have players who are going to get better. What we have to do is come together, play together."

    The negativity surrounding the Pirates can be mostly ignored while in Bradenton. The players cannot hear the talk shows or read the newspapers, and even surfing the Internet is limited because of the extensive time on the field.

    But the same is not the case once in Pittsburgh, and that is one reason the four veterans -- Donnelly, outfielder Ryan Church, infielder Bobby Crosby and closer Octavio Dotel -- called that players-only meeting last week in Philadelphia.

    The primary topic, as delivered by Church: "If you don't like what's out there, change it."

    The Pirates get a second crack tonight, but they should be on guard against complacency: Although they have won their past four season openers, they have lost the second game in five of the past six years.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]NOTES[/HIGH-LIGHT] -- Daniel McCutchen, the Pirates' starter Saturday in Phoenix, pitched four scoreless innings in a simulated game Tuesday in Bradenton, Fla. He made 60 pitches. ... The Pirates announced Tuesday that Jones was the first player in franchise history to homer in his first two at-bats of the season. ... The Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation for the weekend series: Rodrigo Lopez, Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10097/1048415-63.stm
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

  2. #2
    Steelreign's Avatar

    Status : Steelreign is offline
    Rank : Legend
    Join Date : Oct 12, 2009
    Location : Wheatfield, Indiana
    Posts : 18,943
    Threads : 227
    Last Online : Nov-02-2016 @ 07:58 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pirates can take sigh of relief ... but not for long

    The Pirates gutted out a nice win tonight. While they blew some good scoring opportunities, the bullpen did a nice job until Cedeno could put the game away. Winning the 1 run game will be the key to the Pirates season, and they are off to a good start in that deparrtment with tonight's 1 run win.
    Pittsburgh Sports Forum: Member Driven and no ads

  3. #3
    CityofChampions's Avatar
    Status : CityofChampions is offline
    Rank : Waterboy
    Join Date : Nov 20, 2009
    Location : Wellsboro
    Posts : 135
    Threads : 5
    Last Online : Sep-02-2015 @ 02:40 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pirates can take sigh of relief ... but not for long

    If they can find a way to be less than atrocious on the road this year, they might be OK.
    "Work fast, throw strikes, change speeds"--Ray Miller

  4. #4
    Waiting for LaRoche's Avatar
    Status : Waiting for LaRoche is offline
    Rank : Minor Leaguer
    Join Date : Feb 4, 2010
    Location : Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts : 545
    Threads : 91
    Last Online : Oct-24-2012 @ 06:17 PM
    Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Pirates can take sigh of relief ... but not for long

    Here's hoping this weekend in AZ is a good one.

    Good news is it looks the Lincecum will throw Sunday, so the Bucs dodge him Monday.

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •