by Andy Paschen
So does anyone remember when ESPN was about to crown the Florida Marlins and the Seattle Mariners the champions of the world? Really, I’m serious, this weekend they threw a graphic on my TV screen with the title, “If the season were to end today” and promptly showed how Florida and Seattle would have the best records. Nothing like being 8% of the was through the season (thanks for the math Danny!) and tWWL already talking playoffs. Playoff? Playoffs!? So the big bad Marlins came to Pittsburgh this weekend with their trumped up 11-1 record (6-0 against the JV Washington Nationals. Listen up Florida, I don’t tell everyone about when I used to beat Danny in Fifa 08 — because Danny blows at Fifa 08 — so maybe you should take that lesson to heart) and the Pirates gave them the broom.
After the sweep that made the Pirates 9-6 … I’m going to let that sink in … 9-6! Three games over .500! How is this possible? Is this a sign of the 2Pacalypse? No, the Pirates are 9-6 because they are doing everything right. Their staff ERA of 3.07 is best in the N.L. by a wide margin (the Dodgers 3.74 is second) and the are fifth in the league in batting average and runs scored (only the Cardinals have scored more runs in the Central).
I know what you’re thinking, “So Andy, for a team to win in the MLB they have to pitch well and hit well? Why didn’t you say so!?” I can’t just give this advice out for free, I’ve got bacon to bring home. [Editor’s note: Andy is currently unpaid in any and every sense of the word]
Pittsburgh Pirate Player of the Week: Nate McLouth. Though he wasn’t hitting too hot for average to start the season, since last Thurday he’s been stroking at a .308 clip with 2 dinger and 8 RBI. Add 2 SB and only 4 K to that, you’ve got yourself a POW. Not Prisoner of War though, Player of the Week. Almost there: Paul Maholm notched 2 wins and a 2.77 ERA in the last week.
Pittsburgh Pirate Player of the Weak: Ryan Doumit. The vibe is just too good to go an spoil it by calling out some Pirate who isn’t doing his job, so instead I picked Doumit because he recently broke his wrist while batting and is going to miss the next 8-10 weeks. That’s a huge blow for the Buccos, not only because he was one of the better hitting catchers in the N.L.. but also because wrist injuries are particularly nasty to come back from. Derrek Lee still hasn’t been the same since his mishap with Rafael Furcal back in 2006 and David Ortiz hasn’t yet returned to his form after tearing a sheath on his tendon in his wrist last year. Here’s hoping Doumit can make a full recovery.
Series Recap: W (8-0) W (3-2) W (7-4)
Pirates Record: 9-6
Pirates Series Record: 2-1-2
Up next: The Saint Diego Fathers