There are a lot of reasons not to like Pittsburgh. The football team from that area of the state is and has been extremely successful, the hockey team is staffed with goons and crybabies and no matter how bad the baseball team is, they seem to consistantly beat the Phillies.
Jeff Karstens and James McDonald started for the Pirates in the last two games. Two middle of the road starters, one of which looks really strange, held the Phillies to nine hits and three earned runs.
I am fully aware that two games in April does not a season make, but it is makes all of us a little panicky when our worst fears about not being able to score are realized. Runners are being stranded at third with less than two outs and the team is attempting to mask its offensive limitations by bunting. Still, for some reason, I have a sneaking suspicion that they will start to hit the ball.
I have already come to the conclusion that there is a very real reason why Laynce Nix has never had a major league deal. I do not care if Domonic Brown can not catch a cold, he is superior in every offensive category to Nix. People complain that no one has plate discipline. Brown does. There is going to be a very palpable lack of power. Brown has power. I am in no way intimating that Domonic Brown will solve all the world’s problems, but I am fairly certain that he would bring more to the table than Laynce Nix. I am also confused as to why a guy with that many large muscles can’t hit 100 home runs a season.
While offense seems to be at a premium thus far, I am still more concerned about the bullpen. On Saturday, Joe Blanton managed to let Rod Barajas pound the Phillies again, serving up a double that missed leaving the park by inches. A walk off infield single ended the game. On Sunday, Michael Stutes coughed up the majority of a three run lead and David Herdon served up a walk off single to Andrew McCutchen. It is pretty alarming when this much of the team’s success is tied up in a Cuban defector of indeterminable age returning from elbow surgery. Get better big truck.
The not so alarming part about the team is its starting pitching. Cliff Lee and Vance Worley both were really strong in their weekend starts. This team will be in almost every game. Hopefully, they can score and make Papelbon earn his moeny.
Home opener and Cole Hamels tomorrow. Go to hell Pittsburgh.