Back in 2007, I decided I should try my hand at blogging about the Pirates. After all, my family had owned season tickets from 1997-2002 and 2006 — it was time to convert the memories into meaningful musings.
For instance, at age six or seven, my sister and I danced on the home dugout at Three Rivers Stadium alongside the Pirate Parrot. I was at the franchise’s last no-hitter and the commemorative poster — “‘O’ What A Night! — still hangs above my bed. I willingly sat through the 18-inning marathon against the Astros in 2006 and vividly remember believing in Jose Castillo’s power for at least a few innings.
So was it entirely unreasonable for a 15-year-old lifelong Pirates fan — with a tendency to procrastinate a bit — to buy a bit of time by setting some easily attainable pre-requisites before blogging about a helpless franchise?
It was 2007 — and there were two pre-reqs! What the hell could they have been?
- Win 10 games at Miller Park
- Get just one “kinky” win
Worst case scenario, I thought, this blog would start a year later. Now that the Pirates have accomplished both — the latter goal in walk-off fashion — Pirate Talk begins.
I’m not sure that fabricating such details about the reason for blogging is pathetic or not (the memories are certainly/unfortunately true) but the reality is that I’m witnessing the decay of something with which I grew up.
I was born July 23, 1992. The Pirates-Braves Game 7 was Oct. 14, 1992.
Take that into account with the season-ticket-holding and realize that this ignominious streak and I have grown up together. No more than four years ago, it was legitimately worrisome who would outlive the other; but now that the Miller Park curse has temporarily quieted and the kinky win, which capped a series victory over last year’s AL champs, is a microcosm of the Pirates’ 2013 season so far, I taste victory.
I’m cognizant of the luck that’s been tilted in the Bucs’ favor. The advanced metrics indicate that a bullpen performance like the “Shark Tank’s” thus far is due to regress. The ‘pen is stranding base runners at a rate of 83.1 percent and allowing a .254 batting average of balls in play.
I’m aware that Jeanmar Gomez and Jeff Locke won’t carve up the league’s best lineups — like the duo did against Detroit — and that James McDonald and Charlie Morton are iffy depth options for when such fortune runs low.
Yet, there’s more hope now than ever. And without extending this inaugural post any further, I’ll post lineups for the first game of a critical series for Pittsburgh (34-20, 2nd NL Central) against Cincinnati (33-21, 3rd NL Central).
Game 54 — PNC Park, 7:05 p.m.
1. Shin-Soo Choo – CF
2. Zack Cozart – SS
3. Joey Votto – 1B
4. Brandon Phillips – 2B
5. Jay Bruce – RF
6. Todd Frazier – 3B
7. Derrick Robinson – LF
8. Ryan Hanigan – C
9. Johnny Cueto – P
1. Starling Marte – LF
2. Neil Walker – 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen – CF
4. Garrett Jones – 1B
5. Travis Snider – RF
6. Michael McKenry – C
7. Brandon Inge – 3B
8. Clint Barmes – SS
9. Wandy Rodriguez – P