This is going to be a quick one because I have to pack since I’m heading out to Pittsburgh for the weekend to catch the last two games before the All-Star break.
The winning streak is over, but it put the Pirates right back in the thick of things in the playoff race. This is exactly what they needed at this point in the season to help identify where their season is going; they still have a really great shot at the playoffs, even if it is just the Wild Card Game, and that’s a coin toss worth playing for.
The Pirates showed a lot of resiliency against the A’s and Cards recently. Going down in many games and coming back to win is a good sign. The even better part of this is that the bullpen was a huge asset in these wins; see what happens when you keep the game close for this offense? I can only imagine how some games earlier in the season would have turned out had the bullpen been pitching like this.
Tyler Glasnow’s debut today was a pretty wishy-washy start and it's easy to draw both good and bad conclusions. I think I would feel a lot better about it if the Pirates got the win, which indicates that Glasnow pitched decently well but gave up a few hard hits. He looked awesome his first time through the lineup, which is to be expected for someone with the combination of his stuff and having never been seen before. Things cooled off a little after that, though, but he did his job and kept the Pirates in the game. The bullpen (specifically Arquimedes Caminero) couldn’t hold it together, though, putting the game out of reach within a few pitches of Glasnow’s exit. His stuff plays, though, and there's no doubt that a guy who was described as "an ectomorphic 6-foot-8" and a "construction crane" has the potential for greatness. The future is exciting with Glasnow, Taillon, and Cole all in the rotation.
We haven’t reached the All-Star break yet, though. There’s still a weekend series to win against the Cubs. Remember the feeling last season with those amazing comeback wins the Pirates had against the Cardinals right before the break? Some good vibes heading in the week off could go a long way toward jumpstarting the proverbial second half for the Buccos, given that they’ll slowly be regaining some of the players they’ve lost like Taillon, Cole, and Cervelli.
Go get ‘em this weekend and then we’ll evaluate where we’re at over the break.