My Photo
Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Individual accolades for our Buccos

Just figured I'd take some time out from the normal griping to give credit where credit is due.

Freddy Sanchez: Best. kept. secret. from. Lloyd. ever. How he didn't see what everybody else saw months ago (or even last year, for those who watched carefully(this doesn't really include myself, I'll admit)) is beyond me, but he's playing him now. And Sanchez is making sure everybody knows it, with his passion and energy unmatched by anybody else on a baseball field right now. With his gutsy defense, clutch hitting, and being a big motivator in the dugout, you'd think he was a seasoned veteran or a big star. I can't credit him alone for our wins lately, but I feel like he's been a big help.

Jason Bay: I know, he's always been good. But as recently as last week, I was griping about his performance dropping off. He's picked it back up over the last 10 games, getting at least one hit in 8 of them. His average had dropped to .277, but now is back up to .292. Thanks in part to 3 walks on Monday night, his OBP is up to .368, its highest point in almost 2 weeks. His OPS is .927, which is 12th in the NL and 6th among #3 hitters. He's on pace to hit 36 HRs this year, which would be mighty fine by me.

Daryle Ward: Also has a hit in 8 of his last 10 games, including one in each of his last 5. Last night's homer was huge. Not just because it won the game, but also because of its importance to the team and the morale of the team and the fans. I won't bore you with a rant on our need to win close games, but we've won two consecutive 1-run games, both at home. Both of those are the types of games in which we've struggled of late, and Ward smacking the come-from-behind game-winner was a big lift.

Rob Mackowiak: Guy is awesome. Hits a lot. Screws up minimally. Has been discussed in great detail in just about all of the links over there <--- so I'll leave it at this: the guy needs to play. A lot.

Lloyd McClendon: Yes, I know what you're thinking. I like him personally, dislike him as a manager, but lately he's made a few good decisions. One of them is playing Sanchez a lot. Another is playing Mackowiak a lot. Even more than that, he's NOT been playing Tike "ground into DP" Redman and Ty "haha you got screwed in that trade" Wigginton. Other than those two games against Cincy where he decided that Ty should try first base when he doesn't even have his own first base glove, he's done some OK thinking lately.

Pirates fans: Have been going to games. And enjoying them. Yes, some of them are rather aloof when it comes to knowing whats going on and not doing the wave. But if the stands are full, it'll just push this team to try even harder. And with a team where one or two hits per game changes the outcome drastically, that extra push might be the difference between 23-27 and 27-23. Let's keep it coming, give them something (and someone) to play for.

Oliver Perez: Yeah, he's given up a lot of homers since his return. 5, to be exact, in 16.1 innings. But that's ALL he's given up. He's struck out 22 in those 16.1 innings. Last night he showed outstanding command of his location, at least relative to the strike zone. He didn't always hit his exact spot, but he didn't walk a single batter and threw 60 of his 85 pitches for strikes. He also managed to throw only 85 pitches in 6 innings, so he was efficient enough that he could have gone a little deeper had we needed/wanted him to.

Yeah, I'm excited about this team right now. We have a rough schedule coming up, but as we've shown in the last few days, we're able to rise to the occasion when need be. I just hope that we can keep up this level of excitement. I can't help but to smile when I watch the video of Jack scoring Monday night's winning run then chasing Sanchez down to give him a big hug. Good times in Pittsburgh.



Post a Comment

<< Home