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 Post subject: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:43 am 
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The end of the Brewers series marks completion of 1/4 of the season. A stretch that included some of the toughest teams in the NL. Eight games over .500. Third best record in the NL. On a 100 win pace . . . (which won't happen)

If the season is a mile long race, the first lap is now complete. Three left. That's a lot but I really didn't envision this team to be in this position right now.

I'm encouraged. And . . . cautiously optimistic . . . this team has some warts and some people "overperforming" but there is also a fair amount of untapped potential which could more than offset the "overperforming."

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:57 am 
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I thought the Pirates would be eight games under .500 at this point. It's been a tough schedule. Well done, Buccos.

Keep it up!


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:15 am 
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You used "warts" and "quarter pole" in the same post. Gross.

The Battling Buccos have surprised the heck out of me so far this season. They've been frustrating yet fun to watch. The OF tandem of McCutchen and Marte are the most fun to watch in all of baseball. Keep it up fellas!

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:54 am 
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The next "lap:"

Astros - 3 - H
Cubs - 3 - H
Brewers - 3 - A
Tigers - 4 (2H; 2A)
Reds - 3 - H
Braves - 3 - A (done with Braves for year!)
Cubs - 3 -A
Giants - 3 - H
Dodgers - 3 - H (done with Dodgers for year!)
Reds - 4 -A
Angels - 3 -A
Mariners - 2 - A
Brewers - 3 - H
40 games . . . 20 H; 20 A. What will the record be after 81 are in the book?

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:56 am 
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If they can take care of the bad teams in that stretch, I don't think 25-15 is out of the question. Hopefully the Miller Park Curse will be exorcised. What are we right now, 24 and 17?

I guess I'm predicting 49-33. Get it Bucs!

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:00 pm 
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15 wins a month is a 90 win season...

April-15 wins
May-9 wins (so far)

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:42 pm 
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22-18 seems about right, which would give them 46 at the half way point. Projects to 92...boy, would I take that!


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Astros - 3 - H Win 2 out 3
Cubs - 3 - H Win 2 out of 3
Brewers - 3 - A Win 1 out of 3
Tigers - 4 (2H; 2A) Split
Reds - 3 - H Win 1 out of 3
Braves - 3 - A (done with Braves for year!) Win 1 out of 3
Cubs - 3 -A Win 2 out of 3
Giants - 3 - H Win 1 out of 3
Dodgers - 3 - H (done with Dodgers for year!) Win 2 out of 3
Reds - 4 -A Split
Angels - 3 -A Win 1 out of 3
Mariners - 2 - A Split
Brewers - 3 - H Win 2 out of 3

As much as I would like to say 25-15, I see 20-20...i am being safe with some of my predictions, but they always have trouble with the california teams whether home or away, just win the series we should win and keep plugging along, .500 through this stretch would not be the end of the world.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:17 pm 
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With that in mind.....how bout your Pirate picks for these for the quarter point?

MVP: I am giving it to Marte. He has done it all. Most hits in league or close to it. Getting us started in first inning so often. Stolen bases. Some power. Nobody even challenges his arm. Second: Russell Martin. His leadership and work behind the plate really stand out. Not too shabby with the bat either. .315 BA .864 OPS. .000 National Attention! I am really glad he does not qualify for rookie status because I have a feeling I'd be really pissed at the end of the season when they'd give it to someone else.

Cy Young: Grilli. He has been lights out. Second: Melancon. It's odd, seeing these guys, particularly Melancon in this category. But I believe that their success has directly contributed to the Bucs' success. Imagine if these two had even failed a few times each. We would only be at .500.

Biggest Disappointment: This is a little tougher. A few guys have not done what we hoped. Cutch had a long slump. Walker started slow, then got hit with injury. Barmes got off to another slow start. JMac had more bad starts then good ones before admitting he was hurt. But I think in the end, I have to pick Pedro. I still like him, and I still think he will get more consistent...but his bad stretches are just way too bad!

Biggest Surprise: To me, it's gotta be Melancon. I never imagined this guy could be this good. Second: Marte. I thought he'd be okay. Again, I never imagined he would be THIS good. I am sure Martin would get some picks too, but I honestly expected him to do well. I think some may consider Locke a surprise too. I am somewhat surprised by his success so far..and you really would have to include JGomez too!

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm 
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I need someone to pinch me. Is this really their record? Amazing job. There wasn't a one of us here that didn't fear the gauntlet and yet they came out winners.

The more this team believes the better they'll be at keeping this pace. This season is unlike any other for this simple reason. Pitching. As long as the injury bug doesn't creep up we'll see more winning. The starters, 1 through three, Burnett, Rodriguez, and Liriano, have a chance to be solid the whole year and lead whoever is the 4 and 5. Locke is showing he belongs and sooner rather than later 5 will be solitified. There's plenty of depth to pick from.

The bullpen. Lights out 90% of the time. Everybody is now settled into their roles. The bullpen looks great and their getting stronger now that the starters are going deeper into games.

The lineup is filled with a legit star, stars on the rise and solid cornerstone players. The platoons are a great thing to see because there usually isn't a drop off in tallent. The bench is good and can only get better.

It'd be nice to see one player in particular pick it up and I think we all know who that is.

My MVP thus far: Russell Martin.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Animal wrote:
With that in mind.....how bout your Pirate picks for these for the quarter point?

MVP: I am giving it to Marte. He has done it all. Most hits in league or close to it. Getting us started in first inning so often. Stolen bases. Some power. Nobody even challenges his arm. Second: Russell Martin. His leadership and work behind the plate really stand out. Not too shabby with the bat either. .315 BA .864 OPS. .000 National Attention! I am really glad he does not qualify for rookie status because I have a feeling I'd be really pissed at the end of the season when they'd give it to someone else.

Cy Young: Grilli. He has been lights out. Second: Melancon. It's odd, seeing these guys, particularly Melancon in this category. But I believe that their success has directly contributed to the Bucs' success. Imagine if these two had even failed a few times each. We would only be at .500.

Biggest Disappointment: This is a little tougher. A few guys have not done what we hoped. Cutch had a long slump. Walker started slow, then got hit with injury. Barmes got off to another slow start. JMac had more bad starts then good ones before admitting he was hurt. But I think in the end, I have to pick Pedro. I still like him, and I still think he will get more consistent...but his bad stretches are just way too bad!

Biggest Surprise: To me, it's gotta be Melancon. I never imagined this guy could be this good. Second: Marte. I thought he'd be okay. Again, I never imagined he would be THIS good. I am sure Martin would get some picks too, but I honestly expected him to do well. I think some may consider Locke a surprise too. I am somewhat surprised by his success so far..and you really would have to include JGomez too!

Thoughts?


MVP is a tie between Marte and Martin.
Best Pitcher has to go to AJ.
Biggest Disappointment would be Pedro.
Biggest Surprise would be the platoons at 1st and RF.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Hmmmm:


Astros - 3 - H
Cubs - 3 - H

5-1: See a sweep of either, can't say which one

Brewers - 3 - A

1-2 F*%^()))*)*)*))*ing Brewers in F*%((&^((ing Miller Park

Tigers - 4 (2H; 2A)

2-2 Split

Reds - 3 - H

2-1

Braves - 3 - A (done with Braves for year!)

1-2 (if they ge swept I think it will be here)

Cubs - 3 -A

2-1

Giants - 3 - H

Everything can't go swimmingly at home all the time and I think this is it 0-3

Dodgers - 3 - H (done with Dodgers for year!)

2-1

Reds - 4 -A

2-2

Angels - 3 -A

2-1 only because there is a good chance the spouse and I will be in Anahem for that series

Mariners - 2 - A

2-0. Mariners suck and they will actually score runs for AJ this time

Brewers - 3 - H

Bury them, once and for all. They should be about 19 games out at this point. 3-0

24-16!


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:05 pm 
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Animal wrote:
With that in mind.....how bout your Pirate picks for these for the quarter point?

MVP: I am giving it to Marte. He has done it all. Most hits in league or close to it. Getting us started in first inning so often. Stolen bases. Some power. Nobody even challenges his arm. Second: Russell Martin. His leadership and work behind the plate really stand out. Not too shabby with the bat either. .315 BA .864 OPS. .000 National Attention! I am really glad he does not qualify for rookie status because I have a feeling I'd be really pissed at the end of the season when they'd give it to someone else.

Cy Young: Grilli. He has been lights out. Second: Melancon. It's odd, seeing these guys, particularly Melancon in this category. But I believe that their success has directly contributed to the Bucs' success. Imagine if these two had even failed a few times each. We would only be at .500.

Biggest Disappointment: This is a little tougher. A few guys have not done what we hoped. Cutch had a long slump. Walker started slow, then got hit with injury. Barmes got off to another slow start. JMac had more bad starts then good ones before admitting he was hurt. But I think in the end, I have to pick Pedro. I still like him, and I still think he will get more consistent...but his bad stretches are just way too bad!

Biggest Surprise: To me, it's gotta be Melancon. I never imagined this guy could be this good. Second: Marte. I thought he'd be okay. Again, I never imagined he would be THIS good. I am sure Martin would get some picks too, but I honestly expected him to do well. I think some may consider Locke a surprise too. I am somewhat surprised by his success so far..and you really would have to include JGomez too!

Thoughts?


All great points. My MVP is Russell Martin. He is a beast behind the plate and a beast next to it. Having a competent catcher is so refreshing. I hate being forced to try to like a player like Barajas who just sucks (especially when there are all sorts of media reports about his clubhouse presence, personality, blah blah blah).

Cy Young is Melancon. What a pitcher. One earned run all year, 0.71 WHIP, 21 innings, 22 Ks, ONE walk. This guy is awesome at what he is asked to do. Set the table, let Grilli clear it.

Disappointment is JMac. I'm pretty sure he'll never be good again and that hurts the depth we so desperately need for our starters. Even worse is the lasting memory he leaves us from last year's first half, and we'll always be wondering, what if he could return to that form? I don't think we ever see it again.

Surprise is easy. The success of Huntington's aquisitions of last year. Melancon, Snider, Wandy, Gaby, Liriano(so far), and Martin (even the decision not to trade Marte last year should be included). Man is this team so much better with all of these players. If these guys continue to perform, Huntington deserves some GM of the year recognition. As much as I hate re-treads like McDonald, Inge, Sanchez and Barmes, the contributions these players make, or have the opportunity to make pales in comparison to the contributions the above guys have made. Throw in Burnett's success and Grilli's and signing Cutch and I think one would have to say Huntington has done a hell of a job, and that surprises me greatly.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:09 pm 
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MVP: The table-setter, Starling Marte

Cy Young: Mr. Perfect, Jason Grilli

Biggest Disappointment: The human windmill, Kdro Alvarez

Biggest Surprise: A.J. Burnett's shadow, Jeff Locke

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:10 pm 
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Animal wrote:
With that in mind.....how bout your Pirate picks for these for the quarter point?


Biggest Disappointment: This is a little tougher. A few guys have not done what we hoped. Cutch had a long slump. Walker started slow, then got hit with injury. Barmes got off to another slow start. JMac had more bad starts then good ones before admitting he was hurt. But I think in the end, I have to pick Pedro. I still like him, and I still think he will get more consistent...but his bad stretches are just way too bad!


Thoughts?

Not even close. Cutch has aggressively regressed to the mean this season, and Barmes is what he is, but both are playing competently. I wasn't expecting anything this year from MacDonald. Pedro is the guy who's not producing, either from a numbers point of view, or a day-in day-out game situation point of view. I don't know what I expected out of him. I'm guess I'm a sabre-tard, but I don't particularly value guys who hit 30 HRs and never walk and strike out ALL THE TIME. I don't think his ceiling is 40-50 HRs, and he may very well hit 30. But he's still the one laying the giant egg.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:26 pm 
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The main surprise to me is the RF platoon. Coming in, best case scenario was that one of Snider or Tabata took a step forward. I'm still skeptical of both and I wonder what kind of future Snider has if the power he had in the minors never translates at this level, and it's starting to look like that is probably going to be the case despite his age. Currently being fourth on the team in OBP however is a real surprise. His results and the swing I've seen so far seem to point to the fact that he was embraced his role in the line-up and is moving Marte over, and that has been a good thing. Tabata coming into camp 10-15lbs lighter (per reports) was nice given that last year the speed that once made him a notorious basestealer in the minors looked to be all but completely obsolete. His line drive swing of late seems to mirror that of the hitting frenzy he went on his rookie year but I'm still skeptical of if it being sustainable and his health being sustainable.

Elsewhere, Martin's significance obviously cannot be understated after the defense of the Doumit/Barajas era and providing a 1.8 WAR improvement thus far. Will be interested to see if he can keep the power numbers up playing at PNC. The back end of the bullpen has been pretty much perfect, I anticipated that Melancon would succeed in his role, he has obviously been better than expected however. Also don't know if I'd really call Marte's start a surprise per se, though maybe the power is.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:29 pm 
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According to Dejan's latest Twitter tantrum we shouldn't care and it only matters in September and October. This will of course go out the window in July when he throws his annual deadline temper tantrum, but for now it appears there's nothing to see.

Bummer.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:33 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
The main surprise to me is the RF platoon. Coming in, best case scenario was that one of Snider or Tabata took a step forward. I'm still skeptical of both and I wonder what kind of future Snider has if the power he had in the minors never translates at this level, and it's starting to look like that is probably going to be the case despite his age. Currently being fourth on the team in OBP however is a real surprise. His results and the swing I've seen so far seem to point to the fact that he was embraced his role in the line-up and is moving Marte over, and that has been a good thing. Tabata coming into camp 10-15lbs lighter (per reports) was nice given that last year the speed that once made him a notorious basestealer in the minors looked to be all but completely obsolete. His line drive swing of late seems to mirror that of the hitting frenzy he went on his rookie year but I'm still skeptical of if it being sustainable and his health being sustainable.


I think the best think you can say for Snider is that he's drawing walks and working the count. Those were two HUGE issues for him previously, and in some of the Toronto-side trade breakdowns last season those were things it seemed management felt like he'd never improve on.

The typical adage with hitters is that power comes last. I'm HOPING that as Snider is making progress as a hitter, at some point his doubles turn into home runs. He crushed that ball last night, so it might be in there.

He's 25, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. Jose I'm slightly more skeptical on, BUT, I like that he's putting most of his hits in between left- and right-center. That was his forte coming up, and if he's finally "getting it" and getting back to that, maybe he can turn into something. He's only 24, which shocks me every time I see it.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:34 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
According to Dejan's latest Twitter tantrum we shouldn't care and it only matters in September and October.

Pretty sure every game counts the same in the standings, be it April or October.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Quarter Pole"
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
According to Dejan's latest Twitter tantrum we shouldn't care and it only matters in September and October.

Pretty sure every game counts the same in the standings, be it April or October.


Well yeah but if we can only point out Russell Martin's contributions in September and October he has the luxury of 20/20 hindsight or has time to put out a puff piece he can point to in his defense.

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