Searage Shaves Standings

Over to the right, you’ll notice a new feature here on 6-4-3 Putout: The Searage Shaves Standings. Before the season starter James McDonald made a bet with pitching coach Ray Searage. If five Pirates’ starters win ten games each, Ray has to shave his mustache and eyebrows. There are 44 games left so each starter should get about eight more starts. Kevin Correia has already done his part. Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton should be able to reach the goal fairly easily too. It will be tougher for McDonald and Paul Maholm but the real key here is that the offense needs to score more.

Its unknown what would happen to the bet if another starter like Ross Ohlendorf or Brad Lincoln gets put in the rotation. Both have made starts for the Bucs this year.

Searage has a mighty fine soup strainer, but here’s hoping it bites the dust. He can always grow a new one.

Image courtesy of Bucs Blog (http://bucsblog.mlblogs.com/tag/ray-searage/)

Monday morning UPDATE: If the offense keeps up their current pace I’ll never have to update this for the rest of the season. Sheesh.

 

End of year update: Injuries and lack of scoring wrapped this one up early. Here are the final standings.

OK, Wake ‘Em Up Already

Getting swept by the Astros was not exactly what I had in mind after my last post. Same story as the rest of the season, just not enough offense to win, even when the pitching is decent to good. Now they go back to Milwaukee for the final series before the break.

Scheduled Pitchers: Maholm, Karstens and Lincoln vs Doug Davis, Dave Bush and Randy Wolf. There’s no reason the Pirates shouldn’t be able to hit these guys but also no reason to expect them too. Very blah matchups. But I’m busy all weekend so I don’t expect to be able to watch the games anyway.

What you should watch on Sunday is Netherlands vs Spain in the World Cup final. No, the US isn’t playing. Yes, the MLS is a substandard league and pretty boring. So take advantage of the chance to see world class players actually giving their damnedest to win a game. That’s what sports is all about.

One last All-Star Rosters note: Nice to see Joey Votto get voted in. He never should have been left off in the first place. Now if only one of the OFers would get “injured” and Cutch named to the squad I’d be very happy.

Shh, don’t wake them

Don’t look now but the past week has been a great week for the Pirates, winning five out of seven from the Cubs and Phillies. The offense still hasn’t been great, scoring 22 runs (3.14/game) but the pitching has really stepped up, allowing only 23 runs (3.29/g) with twelve of those coming in Saturday’s loss.

Small Sample Size fun: Pedro Alvarez has a seven game hitting streak (.333), has homered in back to back games (2) and has consecutive multi-hit games. Tim at Buccofans.com had a nice article last week about Brad Lincoln in his first four starts at a level compared to the rest of his starts there. Tonight is Brad’s sixth major league start and it comes in his hometown of Houston.

Let’s hope they can keep it up versus the hapless Astros!

The rookies are coming

There was much hype around Stephen Strasburg’s debut last night and he pretty well lived up to it. Of much more interest to me as a Pirates fan are tonight’s debuts of Brad Lincoln and Jose “I’ll break your finger” Tabata. With Tabata in the lineup and the promotion and success of Neil Walker at second I feel that the Pirates are that much closer to fielding a big league caliber lineup every day.

Here’s my stab at what I expect tonight’s lineup to be:

LF Jose Tabata
2B Neil Walker
CF Andrew McCutchen
1B Garrett Jones
RF Lastings Milledge
3B Andy LaRoche
C Jason Jaramillo
SS Ronny Cedeno
P Brad Lincoln

No too shabby. When Ryan Doumit is recovered from his concussion he should slot in at #5 moving down Milledge and LaRoche. Some more shuffling will have to happen when Steve Pearce is activated from the DL, but the real fun will start when Pedro Alvarez is called up. Expect major position changes or a trade then.

LINKS: In the meantime, there are tons of articles around the web today that sum up all of the possibilities better than I could.

Bucs Dugout

Bucco Fans

Raise the Jolly Roger

WHYGAVS

North Side Notch

Rocco DeMarro’s Unnamed Blog

Pirates.MLB.com

Baseball Prospectus (may require subscription)

Post-Gazette

Trib Bucco Blog

Hardball Talk

Rotographs

Pics from Thursday

As promised, here are the first set of pictures from Thursday’s Indians game. Rumors are flying now that Brad Lincoln will be called up to start on Wednesday. If so then these are from what should be his final minor league start.

This is the first AB of the game. It was about two pitches later, while trying to upload this photo, that Tabata hit the foul to me and my attempt at a one handed catch resulted in injury.

Tabata's first AB

The ball that caused the trouble.

About 30 minutes later, here’s Tabata up again. I always like being able to catch the ball in flight. Jose would triple here.

Ball in flight

Finally, here’s Pedro Alvarez. He would triple in this AB too.

Who says he can't hit lefties?

All of my other pics, and a video of Lincoln are on the other camera. I’ll try to get hose up this week sometime.

The Best of Plans

My plan to tweet and take pictures at the Indians game last night was mostly curtailed by the first batter of the first inning when a Jose Tabata foul ball pretty severely jammed and bruised a finger on my right hand. (There are red squiggly lines all over this post as I type it.) Luckily my girlfriend took some shots for me with her camera. I’ll post those here later, but for now; thoughts and impressions:

I met longtime member of the Pirates email listserve Steve Mizer for the first time and believe it or not, he’s a nice guy. We sat together for two innings in the middle of the game. He had GREAT seats literally right behind the plate. Same viewpoint as MLB’s GameDay pitch tracker.

Lincoln looks ready: 6IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. Fastball was topping out around 95 early, 94 later. Good break on the curve. It was only one game but I don’t see what else he has to learn against AAA hitters. Lincoln was asked after the game if he felt “ready to take the next step?” His answer: “Absolutely.”

Alvarez showed some good and bad. Good: RBI Triple. Well struck. Bad: 2 Ks, still was badly fooled a few time against the lefty pitcher.

Tabata: Injured my finger in the first inning, but my girlfriend got the ball and we both got free Chick-Fil-A. 2/4, BB, 2B, 3B, 2 RS, 2K. Showed good speed on the triple, but I was expecting him to fly, ala McCutchen. I guess that just shows the impressions you form when you don’t get to see guys play very often.

The Indians won 4-0 and everything added up for a great night at the ballpark, even if I had my hand in a bag of ice the whole game.

Take 2

The threat of bad weather and a change in the scheduled pitchers led me to scrap plans on going to the Gwinnett Braves/Indianapolis Indians game last night. It turned out that they played the game with no problem and Indians pitcher Jeremy Powell took a no-hitter into the seventh, only to lose 2-1. Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez went a combined 0/7 with 6 K’s. Tonight I have every intention to try again. Brad Lincoln will be on the mound if the weather holds, but right now the forecast is a 40% chance of thunderstorms at game time. This is the last scheduled game of the year between the two teams so I expect they’ll make every effort to play.

UPDATE: Weather report looks great now. (5pm) I’ll be headed to the park shortly!

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