Pittsburgh Pirates Wake Up Call: Another Grand Moment for Red Beard

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In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

Do not adjust your television sets, the Pittsburgh Pirates have won consecutive series for the first time since early May! The Pirates were able to beat the San Diego Padres thanks to some clutch hitting and timely pitching. 

Yesterday’s game had all the makings of another frustrating loss as Jameson Taillon pitched poorly and the bullpen was not particularly sharp. However, Captain Red Beard, Colin Moran delivered his second grand slam of the season and it proved to be just enough for the Pirates to hold on for a 7-5 victory. 

The Pirates have quietly started playing slightly better baseball over the past week. They still have a long way to go to get back to relevancy but they certainly don’t look as hapless as they did for nearly all of June. 

Despite the good news, I am going to focus some energy on a bone-headed moment. The Pirates came dangerously close to sweeping the Padres and if Gregory Polanco scores in the ninth inning of game two, maybe they do. Why did Joey Cora not send Gregory Polanco on a very obvious sacrifice fly situation? Honestly, Cora can throw out any excuse he wants but the reality is, he failed. Joey Cora seems like a good man and a decent third base coach but at that moment, he was a failure. 

I don’t want to deal in hyperboles but the Joey Cora play is definitely a testament to how mediocre the Pirates are this season. It’s the kind of play that plagues under .500 ball clubs. One thing I have learned in all my years of watching baseball is there isn’t much of a difference between a 90 win team and an 80 win team. The lucky bounces go the 90 win team’s way and 80 win teams find interesting ways to lose games. Saturday’s game was living proof that the Pirates are closer to an 80 win team than they are to a 90 win one. 

Despite Gregory Polanco’s non-tag up, the Pirates were able to successfully win the series against the Padres. The Pirates deserve some credit for responding to adversity and bouncing back the next day. That is something they didn’t do during their tailspin, so, hopefully, it is a sign of things to come and the team can get back to at least .500. 

Things don’t get easier for the Pirates as they continue their West Coast road trip against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pirates will recall top prospect Nick Kingham (2-3, 3.82ERA) to make the start in game one and his mound opponent will be Alex Wood. (4-5, 4.00ERA)  Buccos. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 PM. 

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