Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Score One for the Spoilers

8-24-10: vs. the St Louis Cardinals

I like to think I am one of the more optimistic Pirates fans out there. I enjoy going to the games, I trust the management, I think J.R. is a good manager, and I see a bright future for this franchise.
That being said, I absolutely did not expect to record a win tonight. Against Adam Wainwright? With his ERA of 2.0 something entering this game? Going for his eighteenth win? And with Paul Maholm on the mound, to whom August has been anything but kind? I was bracing myself for a one-hit shutout. It rarely feels so good to be so wrong.
The first inning made it appear that my fears were going to be justified. Paul Maholm got two outs before giving up a 2-rbi home run to Holliday on an 0-2 pitch. It was a situation all too familiar for the Pirates this season: a good beginning that suddenly falls apart.
But not tonight! Neil Walker and Jose Tabata continue to make me wonder what we would have done without them this season. I shudder at the thought. Jose Tabata continues to prove that he can put wood on any pitch, regardless of their nearness to a Cy Young award.
I can't wait to see what this guy does next year; his ability to see the ball is already so unbelievably good. If he ever develops serious power, we have ourselves a true star. I was about to type that he's like Andrew McCutchen v. 2.0, but that's a whole negative can of worms I'm not going to get into.
Evan Meek also turned in his second consecutive high-pressure performance that nevertheless teetered on catastrophe. I was actually praying to God that he didn't blow the save...what a nightmare loss that would have been. Fortunately, despite misplaying a grounder, Holliday hit an infield pop-up and he proceeded to get Felipe Lopez to pop out to Ronny Cedeno.
Usually when a Pittsburgh Pirates game leaves me numb with disbelief, it's a bad thing. Tonight was a welcome exception. One final note: it is my belief that the sixth inning gave us a glimpse into a beautiful feature. McCutchen hitting a double, following by Tabata's 1-RBI triple and Neil Walker's 1-rbi double is going to become more and more frequent one of these days. Let it be as soon as next year.

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