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 Post subject: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:11 pm 
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More times than I care to count since 1993, the Pirates head into a horrid stretch at some point during the first half of the season that basically puts the year in the toilet. The reason for this is a lack of talent, to be sure, but I have also noticed that these implosions often come against horrid teams - the expansion D'backs in 1993, the Devil Rays back when they still had "Devil" in their name and nothing in their game, the Astros this year.

That implosion is then usually followed by games against quality competition, where the Buccos are steamrolled like a ripe banana under a bus. So, starting tomorrow, 6 games against the Braves and Marlins.

This could get real ugly, real fast.


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Get the Shovels out cause we are goin 6 games under or worse :(

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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:16 pm 
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Hopefully it doesnt...but yes that seems to be the trend in the past...

This is where Russell will come into play and hopefully motivate them to be ready for the Braves tomorrow...

Maybe Andy has the monkey off his back getting his 1st hit today...

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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:19 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
Maybe Andy has the monkey off his back getting his 1st hit today...

The monkey may have returned with a DP grounder in the next at bat. I hope not, to be sure, but it is the Pirates franchise.


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:21 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
Hopefully it doesnt...but yes that seems to be the trend in the past...

This is where Russell will come into play and hopefully motivate them to be ready for the Braves tomorrow...

Maybe Andy has the monkey off his back getting his 1st hit today...


Russell didn't sound to positive in his post game interview. We need a motivational speaker out there as the skipper. We need Howard Dean, BEYAH!

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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:27 pm 
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I wouldnt have sounded positive after this game earlier either...There's different ways to motivate players and sometimes the Lou Pinnella flipping the buffet table and yelling til the vein in your head is ready to pop is not the way to go...

So far even with the bad 2 games tonight, there's only been one true blow out...thats a positive, plus todays game was a losing battle missing Doumits bat from the middle of the lineup...

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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:29 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
I wouldnt have sounded positive after this game earlier either...There's different ways to motivate players and sometimes the Lou Pinnella flipping the buffet table and yelling til the vein in your head is ready to pop is not the way to go...

So far even with the bad 2 games tonight, there's only been one true blow out...thats a positive, plus todays game was a losing battle missing Doumits bat from the middle of the lineup...


You can't be sure you are getting through to the players until you make somebody cry. The Lou way.


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Losing two in a row to a shitty Houston team, that runs Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz to the mound to start the games ... that is simply horrific.

The team is going to struggle a lot when Doumit has a day off. Jaramillo looks like a slow ground ball hitter. Nate is the clean-up hitter when Doumit is resting, meaning that three straight lefty hitters (McLouth, Laroche, Moss) are in the lineup. That will mean a shit load of lefty relievers.

Lefty hitters vs. lefty relievers is almost always advantage, pitcher. Today's game is an example of that.


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:00 pm 
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There is a little bit of me that thinks that is changing becuae of Maholm and to a lesser degree Duke. I think they give us a chance to avoid those long runs of bad baseball.


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:24 pm 
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I agree...Maholm will give the team a chance to win every fifth day. However, even with him pitching this offense is going to make it tough. And hopefully little LaRoche or someone else who isn't hitting now will pick it up because things will get real ugly when Morgan comes down to earth.


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:52 pm 
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I didn't expect a winning season so losses like today's aren't going to get me down. I am looking more towards individual results and improvement as a true benchmark for a successful 2009 season. And despite the Pirates sinking below .500, I think there can be some positives already seen. For one, Maholm appears to be bucking the trend of the Pirate's previous year's ace regressing. Then there's Zach Duke's first two outings. Also, what's not to love about Adam LaRoche right now? Nyjer Morgan has to be one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball even if you recognize the fact he won't maintain this level. But perhaps the Pirates finally do have their lead off hitter. Finally, Sanchez appears to be swigning the bat better than he has since 2006.

Are there negatives and a few disappointing players? Yes, but I don't think anyone expected the entire team to perform to their highest expectations. If the players I mentioned above can continue their starts and several key prospects develop accordingly, the Pirates will be in a good position in a year or two to be a competitive baseball club once again. Trust me, after this upcoming draft, they will be light years ahead of where they were when Dave Littlefield was removed as Pirate general manager.


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:11 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
Hopefully it doesnt...but yes that seems to be the trend in the past...

This is where Russell will come into play and hopefully motivate them to be ready for the Braves tomorrow...

Maybe Andy has the monkey off his back getting his 1st hit today...


Russell didn't sound to positive in his post game interview. We need a motivational speaker out there as the skipper. We need Howard Dean, BEYAH!

The greatest motivational speaker in the world can't make a bad team play like a good one. You want to see the Pirates win? Start hoping that they draft and trade well instead of hoping that Russell can successfully turn sh*t into shinola.

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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:14 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Colin21 wrote:
nad69dan wrote:
Hopefully it doesnt...but yes that seems to be the trend in the past...

This is where Russell will come into play and hopefully motivate them to be ready for the Braves tomorrow...

Maybe Andy has the monkey off his back getting his 1st hit today...


Russell didn't sound to positive in his post game interview. We need a motivational speaker out there as the skipper. We need Howard Dean, BEYAH!

The greatest motivational speaker in the world can't make a bad team play like a good one. You want to see the Pirates win? Start hoping that they draft and trade well instead of hoping that Russell can successfully turn sh*t into shinola.


I'm just hoping we don't lose 100 games this season. If we don't lose 100 then i got what i wanted out of this season. When is the draft by the way?


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:32 pm 
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Seems to me the problems so far are twofold:

1. There's a lot of crap in the bullpen...some good (Hansen and Capps) but mostly crap

2. Lack of patience at the plate...the Bucs are near the bottom of the league in pitches seen per plate appearance and walks. Freddy's AB today with runners on first and second was a prime example. Of the 14 pitches he fouled off, ESPN's game cast showed 8 of them as being inside, some egregiously so. If that is accurate, that's awful, especially considering he flew out with Nate on deck. He passed up eight chances to get on base with the team's best hitter coming up. If that's how the Pirates are going to bat this year, it will definitely be another long year.

For what it's worth, Marte got absolutely shelled today against the Indians. With Karstens performance today, I'm still not really gloating about the trade though. How far away is Tabata again?


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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:45 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Losing two in a row to a shitty Houston team, that runs Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz to the mound to start the games ... that is simply horrific.

The team is going to struggle a lot when Doumit has a day off. Jaramillo looks like a slow ground ball hitter. Nate is the clean-up hitter when Doumit is resting, meaning that three straight lefty hitters (McLouth, Laroche, Moss) are in the lineup. That will mean a shit load of lefty relievers.

Lefty hitters vs. lefty relievers is almost always advantage, pitcher. Today's game is an example of that.

I was surprised that they didn't drop Sanchez to fourth or fifth in the order.

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 Post subject: Re: So it starts.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
I'm just hoping we don't lose 100 games this season. If we don't lose 100 then i got what i wanted out of this season. When is the draft by the way?

The draft is in June, I believe.

I don't dare predict how many games the Bucs will lose this year because I don't know who will be on the roster come August. 90 or less would be a pleasant surprise. 100 or more isn't out of the question.

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