By Andy Paschen
Today’s featured pirate is the boyishly fabulous! Ren, from a childhood cartoon show that I vaguely remember: Pirates of Dark Water. Ren was the dashing pirate (who could have also been the greatest gay pirate of all-time. Come on, look at that bone structure) who sailed around with a monkey-bird trying to collect gems that would save the world of Mer from Venom, er, Dark Water. Just watch this, maybe you’ll get it. All you need to know: Ren was a good-guy pirate, who tried to stop the bad-guy pirates from destroying the world. Got it? Let’s move on.
I apologize for the limited content on the Pirates recently, but lets be real: no one that reads this blog likes the pirates. Why? Because my Mom doesn’t like sports. Danny’s sister Tess is about a two years old, can’t read and visits the site for the bright lights and pictures (she’s like the E*Trade baby). And Josh? Well, Josh doesn’t have any friends. So that pretty much covers our readership.
So, the first week of the season is over, and the Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t 0-6. (PROMOTIONS FOR EVERYONE! CHAMPAGNE! PARADES!) In fact, they are 4-3 with Monday’s win over the crotchety, old-ass Houston Astros. Jesus Houston, it’s like playing in a 40+ softball league. I think Lance Berkman brings beers out to 1B, when he’s not busy helping Miguel Tejada look for his reading glasses. Why are the Pirates not toiling in the toilet of the division? What is the reason behind their most spirited division chase in 16 years? Let’s read on!
- Freddy Sanchez and Nyjer Morgan are playing like they don’t play for the Pirates. Combined numbers for the monster that is Nyjchez: .380 AVG, 11R, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 3 SB. When your 1 and 2 hitters set the table, its easier for the rest of the lineup to pick at the scraps.
- Pitching. Pittsburgh’s team ERA is 2.70 after 7 games, trailing only the St. Lous Cardinals as tops in the N.L., although they are dead last in strikeouts with only 37 whiffs. (To compare, the league leader is the Chicago Cubs at 65, and the Florida Marlins are in the middle of the pack at 50) Zach Duke is as stingy as a stereotypical representation of a Jew right now: 15.1 IP, 1 ER. Ditto for Paul Maholm: 13.2 IP, 2 ER. Sure, Ian Snell (10 IP, 8 ER) is throwing like he’s ready for a career change (might I recommend used car salesman? Snell Subaru and Hyundai has a nice ring to it) — but the bullpen sports four relievers — Matt Capps, Craig Hansen (God I hope his brother is Chris Hansen, it has the potential to be an amazing TV show. “One’s a major league pitcher. The other’s a major league pedophile hunter. Together, they are Hansen Brothers: CrimeSquad), John Grabow, Sean Burnett — with a shiny ERA of 0.00.
- Bonus: Even the Pirates that aren’t producing are producing. Nate McClouth has a pretty odd stat line right now: .160 AVG, 2 HR, 6 RBI (tied for third on the team). Ryan Doumit: .241 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI. Imagine if these two players start getting on base a little more — we could be witnessing the first signs of the Apocalypse.
The Pirates have to finish up the three game set with the Houston Old-balls Wednesday and Thursday before a duo of N.L. East teams swing into the Steel City. My only advice to Houston, Atlanta and Florida: Brace for impact, becuase you’re about to be boarded from the rear. YARRR!