Happy 4th of July! The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place!
Prior to the start of this Major League Baseball season, I was one of those Pirates fans that just didn't see this team doing anything. I liked the signings of A.J. Burnett and Erik Bedard, but I didn't expect the pitching to be as good as they have been.
I predicted another terrible season with less than 70 wins. I was really, really wrong.
This team has been so exciting to watch. Even in April and May, when offense was atrocious, and Bob Smizik never let us forget it.
Then the team went off in June. Did you know the Pirates led the NL in home runs and runs in June? Let me repeat that. THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES LED THE LEAGUE IN HOME RUNS AND RUNS IN JUNE. If you predicted that after the terrible April and May, please send me an e-mail about where Zach Parise and Ryan Suter will sign in the next few days.
Unlike the offense, the pitching has been great all year. James McDonald looks like a serious Cy Young candidate. That is not an exaggeration. The man has been the ace this team has been lacking since Doug Drabek.
The most telling statistic may be the +16 run differential. When the Pirates were at the top of the NL Central in 2011, you had a feeling the collapse was coming as their run differential was far into the minus range. They were living on the edge and eventually got pushed off. Just imagine the scene in "300" when the Spartans start forcing all the bad guys off the cliff. Now imagine the bad guys in Pirates uniforms and that was what happened last year.
It won't happen this year. The team looks to be for real. The whole rotation is doing well, and even when they don't like in last night's game, the lineup is starting to come to the rescue.
Jump on the bandwagon, this team is going to be in contention come September.
Fun - Call Me, Maybe