A One Game Wild Card Game? I like it!!!

by WVUTimmy | Oct 01, 2014 - 12:03 PM

Being a baseball purist, I originally hated the idea of this one game post season game for the Wild Card spot. Of course, being a baseball purist, I originally hated the actual idea of a Wild Card Game in baseball. I now have to admit, I was wrong. These games are a great and exciting way to enter the Post Season. (And that's what it's called kids, the Post Season. I know that the heretics who write for ESPN and SI now label it " Playoffs", but I encourage you not to follow their bad example.) Last nights AL Wild Card game pitting Oakland against Kansas City was thrilling. Last years NL Wild Card game between our Buccos and Cincinnati was epic. Watching the Bucs beat Cueto was euphoric. This Wild Card idea was a good idea, which leads to tonight's NL Wild Card Game, Giants at Pirates.

On Sunday, Hurdle received a lot of grief for starting Cole against the Reds. Many fans thought Cole should have been saved for the Wild Card game. But Hurdle wanted to still try to win the division. The Pirates didn't do it, unfortunately. And after their loss, I did notice something. The Cardinals immediately pulled Wainwright as their starter for their late afternoon game against the Diamondbacks. They were going to use the same strategy as Hurdle, use an ace in the final game to try to win the division.

Hurdle's decision displayed grit. It also displayed something else, faith in Edinson Volquez. Volquez did not start against the Giants this season. Although he did play them a few times in his days with the Padres and Dodgers. He didn't have great numbers against the Giants back then, but that was a different Edinson Volquez. The new Volquez is a Pirates rehab success story, just like Liriano last year, Liriano who outpitched Cueto for the NL Wild Card. Volquez is 13 -7 with a 3.04 ERA this year. He is 9-1 in his last 10 games, and has pitched 18 scoreless innings going into this game. He is on fire, and should get the job done.

To say that I am looking forward to tonight's game is an understatement. I am ecstatic! I believe it will be a great match up. The Giants are starting their lefty ace, Madison Bumgarner. The Pirates hammered him the last time they met, but don't read too much into that stat. Bumgarner is an experienced and lethal pitcher with... [Read More]
    15 Replies | 1,549 Views

13 Left To Play

by WVUTimmy | Sep 15, 2014 - 1:19 PM

Thirteen games left to play and the Pirates are only 3.5 games back in the Division Race. This is an exciting time to be a Buccos fan. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that baseball was completely over in Pittsburgh once September hit. Heck, it wasn't that long ago when baseball season ended in August when Steelers Training Camp began.

The Pirate also seem to be peaking at the right time. They have won 8 of their last 10, their bats are strong, and their pitching is ranked 7th in the league. The only two things I don't like are A) The Bucs only have 6 of their last 13 at home. B) They don't play the team they are trying to catch, The Cardinals.

What will be the most interesting part of the last two weeks? The two series with Milwaukee and Atlanta, both of whom are biting on the Pirates hind ends for the Wild Card. And Milwaukee isn't out of the Central Division race yet. It'll be a fun two weeks.

So let's enjoy it boys and girls, and hope to see Post Season play. Heck, I'm not sure my heart could take that for two years in a row.

Cheers!! And Let's Go Bucs!!
    14 Replies | 6,495 Views

Live from the game

by WVUTimmy | Aug 17, 2014 - 12:24 PM
I'll be tweeting live from the game today as our Buccos take on , my red capped step children, the Nats. @wvutimmy Let's Go Bucs!!
    1 Reply | 11,858 Views

Bye Bye Bud! Any advice for the new Commish?

by WVUTimmy | Aug 14, 2014 - 12:52 PM
It's Thursday August 14, 2014. A huge day for MLB. Today the owners will pick a new Commissioner of Baseball, and the reign of Bud Selig will be over in January. So Yinzers, what do you think? Any advice for the new guy?

I was never a Selig fan myself. In my opinion, he was to easy going when it came to discipline (Anyone remember the Roberto Alomar spitting incident?) and he turned a blind eye to performance enhancing drugs until the media and the public made him take action. He always seemed to want to make everyone happy if he could, not the trait of a good leader. The current war between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles over television fees is a perfect example. Selig has been useless throughout the entire mess.

On the other side of the coin, people argue that Selig was a huge asset to baseball. He instituted inter-league play, revenue sharing, the Division Series, Wild Card play, and drug testing. He also led the league out of a devastating strike.

But was he a friend of the small market team even though he owned one? I'm not sure. The Yankees and Red Sox always seems to get what they wanted. While teams like Pittsburgh had to struggle.

This is part of the reason why I don't want Tom Werner, Chairman of the Red Sox, to be the new Commish. And Bud never came close to even trying to institute a salary cap program similar to the one that benefited the NFL and NHL.

So what's your opinion? Any advice? How will this affect our Buccos? And who should be the new commish?
    13 Replies | 12,091 Views

The Marauder Hitters

by battlingbucs | Aug 13, 2014 - 3:01 PM
Lately I've been trying to branch out and write about other things but my bread and butter and what I enjoy writing the most is about prospects. I'm no expert on them but I like to think of myself as a well informed novice on the subject. No one should take my opinion of a prospect as evidence of anything but I enjoy researching and writing about them and I hope some of you enjoy reading what I have to say about them. Now with that disclaimer out of the way on to the subject at hand.

The hitters on the Pirates A+ level Bradenton Marauders have been an uninspiring group thus far. The lone exception has been top hitting prospect Josh Bell who now finds himself up a level in AA Altoona. With the exception of Bell and the two major league players who rehabbed there the Marauders have seen 17 players register an at bat for them this season. I figured it is time to take a look at those guys and see what the Pirates have with this largely uninteresting crop of talent.

Organizational Depth
Of the 17 players who have taken an at bat at this level, 6 of them are 24 years of age or older which according to my rough age appropriate prospect scale makes them organizational players rather than prospects. This holds quite true as the players in question have all been used as part time players this year meaning the Pirates do not desire to take a long look at them. Making matters worse is that by and large this group has performed exceedingly poorly especially considering their age for the level.

Jordan Steranka: Steranka has received the most playing time of this group and has been a frequent DH as well as occasionally spelling the struggling 1B prospect at this level. He can also play 3B but hasn't done so yet this season. Steranka is a local product coming from Penn State university at the time he was drafted he was thought to be an attempt to appease the State College Spikes franchise who were unhappy with how the Pirates focused so little on winning at their level. He has only modest power and so far has had major trouble with his plate discipline. So far this year he has struck out 4.5 times as often as he has walked.

Jacob Stallings: Stallings has received a lot of playing time at the level essentially splitting the catching duties with a young prospect who received an aggressive push. Of all the players I'm going to mention in this section Stallings probably has the best shot at... [Read More]
    0 Replies | 3,614 Views

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