Saturday windup: Bucs now a different target
The Pirates, evidently, have finally come full circle.
The Mets anticipated and built up this series with the Bucs as their “big weekend,” and the Citi Field crowds will reflect that drumroll. Having spurted to the top of the National League East at the expense of second-rate competition, the Mets regarded the Pirates as a test of whether they are for real.
Not too long ago, a “big weekend” against the Pirates meant something totally different: Teams looked forward to playing them so they could fatten up with some easy wins.
Now the Bucs are proving grounds? This scenario is so reminiscent of what veteran Buccos like Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker started saying in 2012, when the turnaround had its dress rehearsal: “We’re no longer the team other teams look forward to playing.”
Another take on that: Going from being the hunter to being the hunted.
So now it’s open season on Pirates?
What a world. …
And congratulations on Clint Hurdle’s 400th Pirates win, nailed Friday night.
To me, the most significant thing about the “milestone” are the wins by the managers between Hurdle and the last member of the Pittsburgh 400, Jim Leyland, who managed his last Buccos game two decades ago:
- Gene Lamont: 295
- Lloyd McClendon: 336
- Jim Tracy: 135
- John Russell: 186.
Hurdle had a lot of help, obviously, but he fixed it.