So it's 2AM here in Philly and I am confused as to whether to be sad, angry or excited for what's to come. This time last week I was busy punching a whole in the wall cursing Jerry Meals. Since then we are a mindblowing 1-5 as the entire rotation has now lost a game. After witnessing the weekend series in Person I will say that I saw the Pirates make mistakes in the field (Valdez Ks but reaches on a wild pitch, then they score on a booted throw by Walker and open up the floodgates), and mismanagement of the 8th inning finally come back to bite us in the ass (really Clint, pitching to a redhot Ibanez instead of going to Watson). Then Monday, we outhit the Cubs, but do to a misplayed ball by Ronny (is he really healthy?) they got that three run inning. Today, I leave my house to get dinner with the bucs up 2-1. I check my phone once during dinner... 5-2, I check it again, 8-2... I swear not to look at it agin, d'oh 10-2.
Basically I think our biggest issue right now is that in spite of having great starting pitching, and a good bullpen, we lack 2 key components that you would like to see in any true contender. True contenders have an Ace who is capable of stopping a run like this, and for the other nights they have guys who can pitch the 7th, 8th and 9th and can shorten a game. I think our lineup is good, but not hitting timely, our bullpen can't handle the 8th and our defense has gone from outstanding to good. I think our starters have as such gone from gangbusters to inconsistent with the lack of range in left since Tabata and Pressley were hurt, and with the rotation of shortstops and thirdbasemen. I think Neil Walker needs a couple days off in the field (not at the plate).
While I don't think we are done (Thanks St. Louis), I think we NEED Charlie Morton to step up and be our ace from this day forward. While watching Charlie get knocked around on Friday, I noticed that he remained poised despite his worst outing of the year occuring in front of basically his entire family. I also noticed that after giving up the 8th run, Charlie still was going to pitch until he threw at least 100 pitches. That's at least leadership. That shows me Charlie has changed from the scared pitcher we saw last year. I had the chance to meet him Friday as the last thing I wanted to see after a Pirates defeat was a fireworks display (too many bad memories). Charlie was standing there looking sad with 40 of his family members who had driven up from Delaware. He was proud to give the team the innings they needed and promised that he would tear up the Cubs tomorrow. Here's hoping the fire in his eyes wasn't the reflection of fireworks off in the distance, we absolutely NEED this one.