Thursday, July 24, 2008

Game 102: Pirates 9 Padres 1

Watching the Socialist Splitter take out the Padres tonight, two things occurred to me. One was that while I'm not convinced that Herrera will ever be an effective major league pitcher, I could at least see what made people interested in him tonight. His off-speed stuff can be pretty nasty and it's good enough to keep a team full of terrible hitters guessing. That brings me to the second thing: the Padres are really a terrible hitting team. Remember the Pirates last year? Remember how they'd make terrible pitchers without great control look awesome by flailing at breaking pitches that were clearly not strikes as they dove out of the strike zone? That's exactly what the Padres did to Herrera tonight. I'm happy for Yoslan. He's come a long way for this chance to pitch in the bigs and he's got a win now, which is more than a lot of people can ever say. I just don't want people to mistake this game for more than what it was; a really poor performance by the Padres offense.

That being said, it's nice that the offense has decided to show back up after the Colorado series, giving the finger to people like me who said they were overrated. I still think they are, but hey, I like it when the Pirates score runs. Because I'm a Pirate fan. Bay, McLouth, and Nady all continued their assault on pitching tonight with home runs. If Bay and Nady aren't traded, it's possible that all of the Pirates' starting outfield will end up with more than 20 home runs. Has that ever happened in team history? That's something that I'm not certain has ever happened in team history (no, Bonds, Bonilla, and Van Slyke never pulled it off).

Anyways, the win tonight officially erases the ugly Rockies' series from the books, which means that the 100-loss people can get down off the ledge and we can spend the next three interminable days while the overreactionary people on the other side of the fence try and determine whether or not this team can contend this year. They're still a 67-72 win team, folks. It's all they've ever been.