My brother had seats in the Left Field pavilion because it was UCLA hat night (Dodger hat with the blue and gold of the Bruins and the laughable THIS IS MY TOWN slogan stitched on the bill of the cap). I wore one of my Willie Stargell jerseys and was booed everytime I stood up (which means I stood up like 10 times, until they were tired of booing me). A couple opinions from the game
1. No true leadoff hitter - Iwamura batted leadoff. He swung on the first pitch and hit a double, one of the rare Pirate highlights. He saw 13 pitches in the other three AB's, which is good, but he's not fast and not an average hitter. Maybe Tabata can take over there in a month or so, he at least hits for average and can run.
2. Charlie Morton went 3-2 on damn near every batter. He had a hard time getting ahead. I called the Ethier and the Loney home runs. He fell behind and had to groove in his fastball. While it's his best pitch, he has zero confidence in anything else. Of course, if Clement or Crosby come up with the ground balls hit at them, Loney doesn't hit that home run (which was 330 feet and one inch) and it's a different game. But don't groove one to the only real hitter the Dodgers have. (Ethier)
3. Clement is clueless at the plate and around first. As I said to my brother, he doesn't get cheated when he swings, but he doesn't make enough contact to reap those benefits. They want to give him as much of a shot as they can, but eventually, Jones needs to be moved to first and we need to find someone for RF. Can Milledge move over when Tabata comes up? Or is all we are saying is give Pearce a chance?
4. Once again, the Pirates get a couple hitters on base....here comes the 8th spot with 2 outs and it's the freaking pitcher batting again. Has this worked one time for the Bucs yet? You are overthinking Russell, and I know it hurts your brain. If the 8th hitter normally hits .250 and the pitcher hits .000, who would you rather have bat with runners on base?
5. By the 6th inning, the fans are screaming "PIRATES SUCK". As I said to the people around me, Aren't you in last place? Aren't we winning most of the games against you? Our payroll is like 60 million less than yours and you're getting hyper because you are beating us? You must all be so proud. That got some laughs. While walking to the bathroom, one guy saw my jersey and said "you need Stargell and Clemente to play for you right now" . I wish that were possible, but there's no one of that caliber coming soon...not even Pedro, that is rareified air.
There's a lot of work to be done, but there are some really promising things I see. Cutch is the deal, he made a great catch to rob them of a couple runs. Morton can throw hard, he struck out 8, he just needs to get his head on straight. They may not win 82 this year, but I have more hope than I did when Brant Brown and Bobby Hill were playing.