Kip Wells pitched had his first very good start of the season tonight and the Pirates put together an eight inning rally to get a 3-1 over the reeling Rockies.
It would have been nice to get Kip the win but I can’t complain it was a win none the less. Unfortunately, I couldn’t watch the game because I had to work so I used the live play-by-play on MLB.com. I didn’t see the relay that got Helton at the plate but it was definitely the turning point of the game. Grabow wiggled out the 8th inning and was rewarded with the ‘W’. Tracy brought Capps in for the save and Capps set them down 1, 2, 3 for his first big league save. We have to give credit where credit is due and Tracy deserves a lot of credit for what he has done with Capps. He was Capps’ number one supporter all through spring training and Capps has really rewarded Tracy for his faith. I see a really nice back end of the bullpen with Capps and Gonzalez for years, sprinkle in a little Josh Sharpless and we could become even better.
When I personally look at this team as a whole I see a lot more good than bad (which is tough to say with the way our record looks.) Since I am bored I am going to take a look at the roster as it stands now and analyze the players to see if they have been a positive or negative to the team. (This is my opinion, you may have others and feel free to voice them in my comments section.)
Ronny Paulino– Paulino has been a pleasant surprise in his first season with the big league club. His average has been above .300 almost the entire time he has been in the majors. He has delivered some clutch hits (game tying single off Billy Wagner, game winner against the Nationals, to name a few.) He needs to improve defensively but his game calling and handling of the young staff have been remarkable. 2006 season: Good
Humberto Cota- Awful. I am not going to risk carpel tunnel typing about him. He *****. 2006 season- very very Bad
Sean Casey- Rebounded very nicely after a back injury early in the season. We missed his bat while he was out of the lineup but are very thankful that he is back in it. You can count on him hitting .300 and pounding the gaps with doubles. 2006 season: Good
Jose Castillo- His string of 6 straight games with a home run is impressive enough and he continues hitting. His average is up, he has matched a career high for home runs and he is 8 rbi’s short of another career high. Oh yeah, we have 2 whole months of the season left. 2006 Season: Good
Jack Wilson- I went back and forth on this one. His bat has been really hot and really cold, there doesn’t seem to be an in-between with Jack. His defense has been good, but not great as in years past but I am going to give him a "good" because his performance hasn’t been disappointing. We didn’t think he was going to hit .320 with 20 home runs and for a shortstop .268 and 7 home runs is not terrible. 2006 Season: Good
Joe Randa- His .282 average is pretty solid but the 2 hr and 16 rbi’s are not worth the $4 million we gave him. Unfortunately for Randa, the best thing he did for the team this year was get injured so Freddy Sanchez could get an everyday job so, in that respect, Joe hasn’t been completely useless. 2006 season: Bad
Freddy Sanchez- There is no debate here. I don’t even need to back up my reasoning, but I will because Freddy is amazing. As we speak right now, Freddy is hitting .363 and leading the National League by .15 points. He is hitting .414 with Runners in Scoring Position and .470 against lefties! Move over Ted Williams! 2006 season: AMAZING!
Jose Hernandez- He’s still on the team? He has 77 AB’s to Cota’s 76. I bet these two have spider webs all over their jersey and spikes. Let’s put this in perspective shall we. Ryan Doumit has 56 AB’s and he has been on the DL twice this season and hasn’t played since June 4th! 2006 Season: Bad
Okay that’s all I am going to do for now. Tomorrow I will look at the rest of the roster and give my own critique. As you can see with these young players so far, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, the light will become visible next season and the 14 years of misery will end soon!
Ending Note: Pittsburgh is last in the National League in stolen bases with 30. The last time we had anyone with speed was Tony Womack in 1998. Yes, Tony Womack. Watching the Pirates on the base paths is like watching the Pierogies race, only the Pirates aren’t as fast.