It isn't normally my nature to be a glass-half-full sort of person. At the same time, I'm getting a little exasperated by all of the disclaimers that precede discussions of the Pirates' 4-2 start.
"It's still early, but..."
"The pitchers aren't getting many strikeouts, but..."
"They're making errors defensively, but..."
Enough already. We get it. The Pirates have suffered through 18 consecutive years of futility and things could still turn around and go badly for this team.
But guess what? They could just as easily get better.
I'd be far more concerned at this point if they'd won four road games based on something that couldn't be sustained, like a home run spree by Ronnie Cedeno. But that isn't what's happening here. By and large, I don't see the Pirate players doing anything they're not capable of doing over an entire season -- with the possible exception of Pedro Alvarez still not having hit a homer. I don't see how that could be sustained, and that's a good thing.
Mainly what I'm seeing is a better approach in all facets of the game, which you can chalk up to better coaching. I'm seeing guys working counts at the plate, resulting in more strikeouts, but also more walks and more hits. I'm seeing pitchers working inside more. I'm seeing guys more aggressive on the basepaths. And I'm seeing people being held accountable.
You think the pitching can only get worse? I wonder how much better it will be when Chris Snyder gets back and starts calling games. Or when Owens, Lincoln and/or Morris force themselves into the picture. You think we're not scoring enough runs in proportion to the number of hits we're getting? I say wait until Pedro gets dialed in and starts launching bombs. You think the defense will revert back to 2010 levels? I say Neil Walker looks more comfortable every day, Nick Leyva has worked miracles with Pedro and Lyle Overbay is a vacuum cleaner. And on it goes.
Be of good cheer, doubters. These aren't your father's Buccos.