The Pirates losing at Cincinnati was irritating to watch. I felt my anger building throughout the game, and then it erupted.
A 101 MPH fastball on Andrew McCutchen’s shoulder!
Insult to injury. Fuming. Pissed. I was proud to see Cutch stare down Aroldis Chapman right after it happened. Again as he walked to take first base. And I was proud to see him barking on his way to the dugout after the game. Good teams can harness anger to positive energy. It can fuel effort, focus, and resolve. Or it can distract.
I originally looked at last night as being the rubber match of this series, expecting the struggling James McDonald to lose and AJ Burnett to win. Now, I think tonight is indeed the rubber match (naively believing the Bucs will win on Sunday). McDonald needs to come out aggressive and focused. He needs to throw up-and-in throughout the night to keep the Reds hitters on their heels. I do want to see a Red plunked, but only when it suits our needs.
Other notes from last nights game:
- Bucs hit into three double plays.
- Reds hit inside the park HR. Where was Cutch on the play? I thought the Bucs threw him out at the plate. Rod Barajas did a fine job blocking the plate and Neil Walker threw a bullet on the relay. Bang-bang play, though.
- The opposing pitcher, Mat Latos, hit a two run HR.
- A ton of big defensive plays from the Reds. One amazing defensive play from Barmes.
- I still want to see Jordy Mercer get an occasional start at SS.
I think tonight’s game will foreshadow what the remainder of the season is going to be like.