In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.
It’s safe to assume that most people in Pittsburgh were watching the Pittsburgh Steelers last night. However, if you opted to watch the Pittsburgh baseball club, you saw a well-pitched game by Jameson Taillon and a good win for a team simply playing for pride.
Francisco Cervelli hit a first-inning home run and Pablo Reyes continued his September onslaught as the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1. It was the Pirates 79th victory of 2018, which means the team is just two wins away from that ever important winning season. The nice thing about playing a lot of younger players is they are hungry to show they belong in the Major Leagues. The Pirates may be out of playoff contention, but their young players have a lot to play for. They want to prove to the organization that they deserve an extended look during Spring Training next season.
I am sure a lot of people will refer to this season as a failure since the Pirates failed to make the playoffs, but I’ve genuinely enjoyed watching this team play baseball. The team had a lot of ups and downs, but they’ve responded to every poor stretch with a good one. That is something the team failed to do consistently in 2016 and 2017. If a team doesn’t reach the playoffs, you at least want to see year-to-year improvement and that is exactly what the Pirates have done this year.
The Pirates went 78-83 in 2016, 75-87 in 2017. They have already surpassed both marks and should most likely finish at least .500. Obviously, that is never the goal for the team, but the team has improved. The team traded Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen and are going to win more games without them than they did with them over the last two seasons.
When the Pirates traded David Freese and Designated Sean Rodriguez for Assignment, I said I was more excited about watching the team because it was finally going to let the young players get valuable playing time. It’s been refreshing to watch Pablo Reyes, Kevin Newman, Kevin Kramer, and Adam Frazier contribute to victories.
This team has a very young and talented pitching rotation, but they don’t quite know what they have in terms of offensive prospects. The Pirates will definitely need to add some pieces to the offense during the offseason, but you can never have enough depth, which is exactly what some of the prospects will provide in 2019.
Regardless of how you feel about this season as a whole, it’s nice to see this team fighting and trying to win every game, even though they are simply playing for pride. I have enjoyed watching this team come together and I remain optimistic for 2019 and beyond.
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