On a cold and rainy night in Pittsburgh, the Pirates downed the Colorado Rockies 4-3 in 15 innings.
Yes, Franklin Morales gave up a walk-off RBI double to José Tabata. Though it may be harsh, let's face facts. They're still the Pirates. (Don't worry, Pirates fans. You get kudos later—keep reading.)
The same Pirates who haven't had a winning season in almost two decades. Manny Ramirez wasn't even playing in the majors the last time they rose above .500.
Yet for some reason, the Rockies had trouble Friday night.
Some may see this as a red flag for the team in 2011. While it does raise a few questions, there are certain things that must be remembered.
One, the Pirates are better than you think.
While they won't contend for an NL Central title anytime soon, Clint Hurdle has these Pirates on the upswing. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen is among the best young players in the majors, and while the pitching isn't great, it's definitely solid.
Just look at their track record this year—they took two of three from division rival Chicago at Wrigley, and two of three from the hated Cardinals in St. Louis. Both those stadiums aren't easy to win in if you're not the home team.
Good news for the Pirates faithful in Pittsburgh—they're only half a game back in a tough division, and if they keep playing like this, they could join Baltimore and Cleveland (Charlie Sheen must be so proud) among the surprise division leaders.
The could very well break their streak of shame this year and actually finish north of .500.
Told you I'd give you props, Buccos.
The Rockies simply had an off-night.
Jorge De La Rosa was good, though he wasn't spectacular. He went five innings, giving up only two hits and two runs. He did walk three, but that's not a bad sign. His ERA is still south of two, so give him another chance, Rockies fans.
Everyone has a bad day at the office.
What may be more of a worry is the fact that outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, catcher Chris Iannetta and outfielder Seth Smith went a combined 0-for-20. Those kind of games easily kills a batting average.
Poor offense is what led to tonight, and if they can pick up and move on from tonight, this should be a non-issue.
This storm cloud has a silver lining, though. The bullpen looked very strong having to work 8.2 innings.
Lindstrom, Reynolds, Paulino, Betancourt and Street pitched well, only giving up four hits scattered over seven innings. That's not bad at all.
One bad night doesn’t kill a season. What the Rockies must do is simple. They must forget what happened tonight. It never happened.
The offense absolutely has to learn the lessons they take away from this loss, apply them to tomorrow and move on. That’s the beauty of this game—one bad night doesn’t kill your season.
Unless you’re Charlie Sheen.