This win puts Bucs on the map — and NL on alert

Watching today’s game on TV — one of the perks of taking a little vacation break — I was impressed with how many times Bob Walk mentioned his concern about the Pirates’ inability to add on to the five runs they scored in the first inning.

I was particularly impressed after the Bucs closed out the 5-4 win over the Phillies. Because Walk was absolutely right — sitting on five early runs is normally a recipe for a come-from-ahead loss. The fact the Pirates didn’t let it happen made it, in my opinion, their biggest statement win of the season.

Only special, legitimate teams get away with a win like that. The Bucs’ 40th win was their biggest yet. From Casey McGehee’s big bomb in the first to his clutch dash-and-catch of Pirates-killer Carlos Ruiz foul pop in the eighth — right through winning despite Andrew McCutchen’s 0-for-5, which would have been impossible a couple of weeks ago — this was a contender doing everything necessary to win.

Without a question, this is the most intriguing phase of the Bucs’ season. Because once they started slipping last summer, there was no stopping the free-fall. Amazingly, within 18 games, the ’11 Pirates went from first place to under .500, never to surface again,  from a record of 48-43 on July 15 to 54-55 on Aug. 3.

Clint Hurdle’s 2012 boys have already had a chance to pull the same disappearing act. Four straight (ugly) losses at the start of their previous road trip dropped them to 32-31, still in the heart of the foreboding Interleague schedule. So the Bucs were again staring disaster in the face, and this time disaster blinked. They’ve gone 8-4 since.

Maybe there is something to Hurdle’s gospel. There is such a long way to go, but there’s a certain ring to “Finish.” Sure sounds better than “Vanish.” 

5 Comments

I have to agree Tom. you saw the little things today. I still wish they would have added on or countered but… not to be, As BW keeps saying you have to always have a plan when at bat and sometimes I wonder what that plan is….. Cards are the next “test” let’s hope they pass.

Sitting on 5 runs the whole game remains me of in football when a teams sits on a lead and use there Prevent Defensive which usually Prevents……………….NOTHING.

Sutton, Who in the heck is Sutton and where did he come from…………….been on vacation………….what a nice surprise,,,,,,, never heard of him mentioned as a prospect,,,,,,,sorry!………fill me in

The Bucs picked Sutton on waivers from Tampa Bay about 10 days ago. They had actually acquired Sutton from Atlanta in a May 20 trade, but the very next day traded him to the Rays (both of those were cash transactions) who had an immediate need for him. When his role with the Rays changed and he was placed on waivers, the Bucs happily made another move for him.

Clint Hurdle: My choice for NL Manager of the Year, no doubt about it!

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