The Vulture Club: Bucs bullpen can carry that tune

The Shark Tank is so last year.

Say hello to The Vulture Club.

The Pirates’ bullpen doesn’t have a Boy George, but it does have a lead singer: Tony Watson, whose four victories match the TOTAL of the Pittsburgh rotation. Back-up singers include Bryan Morris (3-0) and Jared Hughes, who within his first six appearances had two wins — or two more than Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton have combined for in 17 starts.

The bullpen “vulture” is a baseball tradition, with the pioneer having been the Bucs’ very own ElRoy Face in 1959, when he was in the right place at the right time to post a ridiculous 18-1 record.

And it was mainlined by Phil Regan, a Dodgers reliever of the mid-‘60s who earned the official nickname of The Vulture.

However, few teams have had a Vulture Club to compare to these Bucs, whose relievers had 13 wins through 39 games — compared to the rotation’s total of four.

A big part of the reason: Clint Hurdle’s MO of essentially limiting starters to six innings (barring unusually-low pitch counts) combined with the Bucs’ late-scoring offense; they’ve scored 43 percent of their runs in the seventh-or-later.

But another reason is just good-old-fashioned vulturing.  The Bucs have led after six innings in seven games. Relievers got the win in four of those, too.

5 Comments

Who in the world is teaching Marte how to run the bases. Marte has to be the dumbest baseball player in the majors!

I love our Pirate blog here on MLB. Up to date and timely information. Nothing better then that.

I appreciate the sentiment — and the sarcasm. Truth is, between voluminous coverage at Pirates.com and Twitter (Tom_Singer) traffic, there is literally no time to keep this blog dynamic. Always falls through th4 cracks.

Your kidding, RIGHT. There is no way this pitching staff is going to take this team to the play-offs,,,,Today, Aug. 5th, winning 2-1 Morton goes 7. Top of the 8th bring in Hughes, ok, take him out bring in Wilson,,,,,right down the tubes. This kid can only throw fastballs he has no other pitch, oh a cutter yeah right. Leading 2-1 going into the 8th and flat out blow the game. Why wasn’t Watson in the 8th, Malancon in the 9th we go home a WINNER. Managerial stupidity

YOU’RE kidding, right? Look at the date of the post you’re commenting on — May 15. That bullpen still included Grilli and Morris. And – Watson was unavailable Tuesday night due to his recent workload.

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