I have to be careful here not to sound like one of those idiots who writes a post bragging about how they called it months ago, how they were right, how many were wrong. That being said, I have to say to everyone, I told you so! My post on May21st came at a time when the Bucs were 19-22. It declared the Pirates would make the playoffs, and some people responded I was on drugs. Since then, our beloved Bucs have gone 29-15.
The post came at a time when people were fed up with the lack of hitting. While people were calling for trades and even to dump certain players, I remained calm, stating that players were hitting well below their carreer averages and things have a way of evening out. I suggested Casey or Alvarez might find their swing and perhaps all that was needed was time. Well since then Casey has hit .295 and Alvarez .259. The team during this stretch is hitting .266.
What bewilders me here is the hunger to make a huge trade, like for Upton, while depleting a farm system that is just starting to show such promise. Names like Taillon, Marte, Heredia, and Bell are constantly being thrown out there. I think it would be foolish to part with any of them at this point. Remember this, we will not be getting great draft picks over the next 5 years because of our improving record. Gone are the days when we can bank on a number 2 or 3 pick. We should preserve our minor league base and rely on free agency during the off season to fill in holes.
Starting aces are hard to come by, we simply got very lucky with McDonald. A small market team like the Bucs can't throw huge money after a big name pitcher. However hats off to the Front Office for getting creative and doing the Burnett deal. Trading away potential Aces like Tallion should not be in the interests of the Bucs.
As for our Pirates I see only better things to come in the second half. Karstens missed most of the first half and if he comes on strong man does that help. We have pitchers in AAA that are ready to come up and help out should there be an injury or Bedard tires. We have Marte who will get called up and he has got to be a big boost over the numbers Tabata put up in the first half.
I see no reason why the Bucs will not only break the streak, make the playoffs and ride it right into the World Series. Great team chemistry, great bullpen, great fans, with a hunger from losing for so many years fueling the way. Pirates in 6 and let the drug accusations begin!