I hope Brandon Wood’s RBI double tonight is the first of countless doubles in his Pirate career. I don’t want that to be misunderstood. I’ll root for just about anybody if they put a Pirate uniform on, especially if he seems like a good guy (Wood does) and if he’s been through some rough patches in his career (Wood has). I understand why Neal Huntington wanted him and why he’s worth giving at bats to and heck, everyone knows that I won’t be particularly nostalgic for the Ronny Cedeno era when it’s over.
That doesn’t mean I have to be ecstatic about his signing. I hate the way some people reacted with shock that there were Pirate fans that weren’t head over heels when the Pirates had a chance to claim Wood. Playing time doesn’t fix everything and Wood’s got bigger obstacles to overcome than most of the other prospects the Pirates have tried to rehab the past couple of years. Sometimes, I’m just sick of the Pirates being MLB’s Island of Misfit Toys.
I’ll be particularly upset if Wood keeps taking at-bats away from Pedro Alvarez. Pedro can’t be a platoon player if the Pirates are going anywhere. In the past few days, it looked like Pedro was turning a corner and while John Lannan is a lefty, it’s not like he’s Randy Johnson. Wood is a Pirate because they don’t have a long-term solution at shortstop, not because guys like Alvarez and Neil Walker need a platoon partner. Let’s hope we don’t see him at third base too much after tonight.
As for the rest of the game, Paul Maholm turned in one of his better starts in a while. He whiffed eight Nats in seven innings and held the Nats down after their two-run first. Every once in a while he gets into a groove like he did tonight, but it’s nice to see the offense and bullpen manage to get him a win after such a good start. Despite Sunday’s infuriating game, the Bucs have bounced back nicely after that ugly series in Miami. This series coming up against the Giants should be an interesting one.