So here are the positiveand the not so positive (hopefully just paranoid) impressions I got from the opening weekend.
1) I like the way the lineup is laid out. I was waiting ever since the Nady/Marte trade to see what Tabata could do. Last year I'd lost interest by the time he came up so this first series was to see him in the leadoff role. I think he may fit that well. Most importantly he lets Cutch's mix of putting the ball in play and power slip into a more impact slot in the lineup at #3. I really dont like Overbay at clean-up but I dont think Pedro is ready for that spot either so be it. When you put G.Jones or Diaz at seventhit reflects young quality 1-6 with the exception of Overbay's34 year old birth certificate. All in all they could be fun to watch.
2) Everytime I felf the defense was settling in something else happened. They definitely played well enought to win Saturdayand Pedro had a nice game with the glove saturday as well. So....guess who aids them in blowing the 3-0 lead? Overbay with a rare E3. I've been an Overbay hater this offseason but that is over. I realize for what they paid for him he's a nice signing for the next year or so and I realize errors wont be common from him. The defense as a whole though one minute looks improved and the next scary as hell. Case in point Ronnie makes a ridiculours throwing error that nearly throws the game away and then the nexplay he ends it with the double play. All things equal, th defense will be the difference between winning under 60 games or chasing .500 for this team.
3a) Pitching....you cant talk about the good and the gray areas without pointing out what should be the worst part of the 2011 Pirates, the Starting Pitching staff. Clearly 3 starts don't prove a thing, but if the new pitching coach has had a positive impact here that has shown in the first series then I applaud him. Maholm needs to pitch well enough to be traded this year. Ohlendorf, I'd like to see fit in to the long term somehow. McDonald and Morton pitch against the Cards and are the two most important pitchers we have on this year's roster. If they are competitive this year then we only need 2 or 3 more quality young starters to round out a rotation (Morris, Tailon anyone).
3b) The bullpen...on paper looks fairly good this year again. However, were Meek's spring training issues real or not? Game 1 says not, Game 2 says real. What is the truth? I guess we'll find out over the next 159 games. I just have this sick feeling that he is the soon to be latest version of a Pirate who has one great season and then you never hear of him positively again.
What do you all think.