Saturday windup: This IS the big one.

Clint Hurdle is always saying that “today’s game is the biggest of the season.” It’s his way of maintaining that one-game-at-a-time focus.

But today’s game IS the Pirates’ biggest of the season.

They’re reeling, in danger of matching their longest losing streak of the season at the worst possible time. A fifth straight loss would wipe out the last of their five-game lead over the Cubs — all in a matter of five days.

Francisco Liriano needs to pitch up to his ace status. He’s facing Clayton Kershaw in Dodger Stadium. He could be facing Cy Young on the moon. Doesn’t matter. He has to give the Bucs a chance to win this game, for two huge reasons.

One, to stop the skid and all the bad vibes in the wake of Jung Ho Kang’s devastating injury.

Two, to give the Pirates a good chance of taking this series. Liriano takes care of this one, Gerrit Cole figures to take care of Sunday’s game against Mike Bolsinger.

The Cubs called out the Pirates earlier this week, and are in the process of doing the same to the Cardinals this weekend. Time to put your foot down, as Hurdle likes to say.

By the way, for those disappointed with how infrequently I’ve had posts here, given the other time-consuming demands of canvassing the Bucs … from here on out, I’m gonna throw up something at least once a day, usually more. There’s only 15 games left. Time to step up. Something else Hurdle is always saying.

23 Comments

.
I have always thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Singer’s writing style as well as the abundance of baseball insights he always provides his readers. Never posted anything here before, but I may check back later to see if any interesting people are dissecting tonight’s game — and maybe studying the tea leaves trying to ascertain what the next couple of weeks may hold.

Who knows ?? To paraphrase Dale Carnegie, perhaps I can make new friends and influence people !!

kewl !!
.

.
Hey, it worked. I posted !!! Tres beaucoup mega-kewl !!

First thing on the agenda is probably that of making a valiant attempt to try to ascertain what the inscrutable Mr. Hurdle is doing with his line-up . . . Tonight’s, for me. is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, cloaked in a puzzle.

(Or something like that.)

Then again, I do suffer from the additional handicap of not being too bright to begin with.

Oh well.
.

.

Must admit. Not a big fan of the Awaiting Moderation thingie . . . (Just now noticed it.)

What does that mean, that my actual post(s) will show up sometime next week ???

Yikes !!
.

.

Just now noticed something else . . .

If my posts were posted when the “time stamp” says they were posted, then these real-time comments would be coming to you from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

I can assure everyone. That is definitely not the case.

P.S. I also can’t figure out what I have to do with my keyboard (specifically with the Enter key) to actually create, well , , you know , , , separate paragraphs.

Side note the Buccos’ hitters tonight:

Please do not stand there in the batter’s box looking at called strikes. That’s very discouraging to the fans who are watching your performance. We all know that (especially against top-flight pitchers), trying to “work the count” or “work the pitcher” is a cross between a fool’s errand and an urban legend. Too often you quickly find yourself behind in the count, and for pitchers like Kershaw, that instantly puts you square in the middle of the proverbial deep yogurt. Besides, the first pitch may very well be the best one you’ll see, so hit that puppy, just as hard as you can !!! It works as a batting strategy. And if you don’t believe me, then check out your Buccos’ batting splits in Baseball Reference.
(Thanks in advance.)
.

.
I’m counting on Mr. Liriano to keep my Sturm und Drang to an absolute minimum . . .

GO FRANCISCO !!
.

.
Bottom of the first, and already this does not augur well . . .

Bummer.
.

.

Jordy, Jordy, he’s our man.
And if he can’t do it, Francisco can !!!
.

.

And with that walk, Jordy’s OBP goes to 10.427

(Approximately. I haven’t taken the time to do the calculation, precisely.)
.

.

And that play he made on Howie Kendrick, deep in the hole, in the bottom of the 6th. Wowser.

No wonder Fangraphs ranks Jordy the 6th best defensive SS in the National League.

kewl !!
.

.
High throw from Harrison doesn’t hurt us. And Mr. Liriano, bless his heart, is pitching what arguably his best start of the season. And in such a crucial game . . .

GO FRANCISCO !!!
.

.
Chris Hatcher has given up two earned runs in the past two months (August and September).

Which makes the Ramirez double all the more impressive. Well done, Aramis !!
.

.
(Of course, that run wasn’t charged to Hatcher. Mr. Kershaw on the hook so far for this one.)

Who’d’a thunk ??
.

.
If this score holds up (3 – 2), according to Vin Scully (from earlier in the game), the Buccos will have more one-run wins than any other team in the National League.

Conversely, the first-place Dodgers actually have a sub-.500 W/L average in one-run games.

Advantage to the Buccos (statistically). Unless we start talking about reversion to the mean. (Hope not.)
.

.

Eh, easy win . . .

NOT !!!!
.

Great to hear Tom!
Good job Frankie- we needed that..
I was getting tired of throwing up in my mouth!

.
Cozmo,

You’re correct, imo. Mr. Liriano was really dealin’ last night. Wow, he must have been totally amped up. Early in the game he was now and then hitting 96 mph on the ol’ radar gun. He doesn’t always do that. Never met him myself, but he seems like a very nice man. Never shows much emotion outwardly (he seems almost like a shy person — notice how often he prefers to sit by himself in the dug-out), but deep down inside last night, his adrenalin levels must have been through the proverbial roof.
.

.
Cozmo,

Never met Mr. Alvarez either. (Never met any of them, actually.) But Pedro also seems like a somewhat shy person. I think when he hears people criticizing him, it hurts his feelings more than most people think. I can’t understand this year why he still gets pulled so often against LHP. Especially when it’s in favor of someone like Mr. Morse. Not to say anything bad about Morse. He tries hard all the time, and he does have some potential bench power. But imo he’s no Pedro Alvarez. And here’s the irony. This year, so far, Mr. Alvarez is actually batting better (batting average and OPS) against LHP than he is against RHP. (I can see a late inning defensive replacement for him, but that’s about it, as long as he’s healthy.)
.
Indeed, the next order of business probably should be to establish the over/under for the number of HR’s Pedro hits in the up-coming series in the rarefied atmosphere of Coors Field. Me, I’m no Vegas odds-maker. And I don’t even play one on TV. But nevertheless, for this up-coming four-game series, I’ll (for now) set that Alvarez O/U number at (drum roll, please . . .)
.
Three
.

.

H’okay . . .
.
.
One more day of being a huge Cubs’ fan, and then somehow, for some strange and totally unknown and inexplicable reason, I’m already beginning to feel a huge (if temporary) affection and fandom coming on for the Cincinnati Reds.
.
GO BIG RED MACHINE !!!
.

.
What has me a little annoyed is the one-page, full page Public Notice that the Cardinals’ management took out in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, addressed specifically toward the Pirates and the Cubs.
.
Full page Public Notice (man, they must’a paid a King’s Ransom for that). Plenty of white space. With only five bold-faced words in the middle of the Notice:
.
Catch Me If You Can
.
okay, them’s fightin’ words. All I can say is “Well, we’re working on it.”
.
Now that Lance Lynn has clearly run out of gas, and Mr. Wacha is getting cuffed around the head and shoulders every now and then, such an outcome is not outside the realm of possibility.
.

.
Kind’a makes watching football a lot less fun.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/18/health/nfl-brain-study-cte/index.html

.

.
Chavez Ravine looks absolutely empty. 97 degree weather in the early afternoon (their time) will tend to do that.
.
Mr. Cole off to a slow start, but that was true of Mr. Liriano last night as well.
.
Not a game for the faint of heart.
.

.
Dang it . . .

Soler just missed hitting a two-run walk off home run.
.
Cubs lose. Cubs lose.
.
~sigh~
.

.
Pulled it foul in the bottom of the 9th. Had the distance, just not quite the right direction. Cubs had great chances in the 8th and the 9th, but they couldn’t get it done..
.
We need to be one game behind the Cardinals going into that last fateful series in September. That’s when we catch them, winning two out of three. And then, we finish vs. Cincy and Cardinals vs. the Braves. Can’t expect the Braves to win any of those games, so if we don’t catch the Cardinals that last HUGE three-game series in September, chances are we won’t.
.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: