Please excuse me while I try to get back into the swing of writing recaps. Before I get there, let me say this: a lot of you said a lot of exceptionally nice things about the piece I wrote about my grandfather last week. I didn’t have time to respond to everyone individually since the whole weekend was kind of a blur, but I want to take a second now to thank everyone for all of your kind words. It all really meant a lot to me, and it meant a lot to my dad and my uncles to know that people were responding positively to the stories about my grandfather.
In a lot of ways, the last three innings of Monday’s crazy Pirates/Reds homerfest on Tuesday afternoon sort of represents the promise of the 2014 Pirates. Wandy Rodriguez was pretty terrible in Monday’s start, but after Bryan Morris allowed a home run of his own in the sixth, the Pirates shut the Reds down with Tony Watson, Mark Melancon, and Jason Grilli. Morris, Watson, Melancon, and Grilli could really give the Pirates the ability to shorten some games this year, which is an ability that might prove to be awfully useful if the rotation ends up being as thin as it seems like it could be.
As it turns out, the Pirates could’ve used a shortened game in tonight’s full-length tilt. I wasn’t able to watch the second game (it was lab dinner night), but it sure seems like Gerrit Cole danced through raindrops for five innings before hitting a wall in the sixth. With Justin Wilson struggling in the seventh, it was just too much for the Pirates to overcome. That doesn’t mean the Bucs didn’t try (they had Andrew McCutchen up in the ninth with the tying run on base thanks to an eight-inning homer by a right-handed Neil Walker)
For now, let’s focus on the fact that the Pirates are 7-7, and not on worrisome facts like that the 7-7 record is built on a 6-2 record in one run games. Trying to draw conclusions from two weeks worth of games to open the season doesn’t do much good.