Until last night.
Drew Sutton last night was able to wrest the title of play of the year (so far, anyway) from McKenry for the 2012 title with his dramatic, completely unexpected but somehow not surprising, game winning walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th to beat the (hapless) Houston Astros. That home run, Sutton first in the bigs since the 2010, put the Pirates into a 1st place tie with the Reds, who later last night lost to the Dodgers 3-1.
I’ll spare all of the talk about the PIrates being 8 games over .500 for the first time since the last day of the 1992 season, because to be honest, .500 no longer really matters. Heck, finishing 82-80 and ending ’the streak’ this year seems like it would be a bit of a disappointment at this point in the season.
There just seems to be too much right for this team right now. Things are clicking in a way that says that last year was last year, and this year is the first of many more in a good way. They’ve got the Zoltan Z going on, like the Brewers’ beast mode claw from last year’s playoff run. One of those things that when your opponent does it, you hate it. But when it’s your team, it connects you with them in a way like no other. Note: the image and subsequent link to the page where these shirts are sold are of no affiliation to me in any way whatsoever. I just thought they were cool (though could be improved) and it would be great if a percentage of each sale went to Pirates Charities, but that’s not up to me… just saying).
Anyway, we have a potential National League MVP in Andrew McCutchen earning his way to an All Star game that he will be playing to win. Because it *might* actually mean something to his team in October.
We have a closer who has blown two saves all year long, and an offense that picked him up by coming back to win both of those games.
We have guys who we acquired, traded the same day, and picked up off of waivers after he was cut by the team we traded him to coming in an hitting game winning walk off home runs.
We have a big time prospect pounding at the door in Indianapolis to come and join the party in Starling Marte, along with enough pitchers to solidly staff an 11 man rotation if we needed to.
We are 9 days away from the deadline to sign drafted players, and there is an incredible indifference regarding whether or not 1st round pick Mark Appel actually signs with the Pirates or not (He’d be insane not to sign, by the way. No more money coming his way, plus a chance to be part of a… yep, I’ll say it… dynasty in the years to come. The only person who is hurt here is Scott Boras, since he’s already cost his client millions of dollars).
We have the best offense in baseball since June 1. Incredible, considering the articles written here and everywhere else about how historically bad the offense was in April and May.
It’s a lot of fun right now, and it’s cool to be a Pirates fan. I was wearing my Bucco gear every day in Milwaukee last week, and I was stopped over a dozen times by strangers wanting to talk Bucco baseball. Not to mention, it is cool to go to Pirates games now. Bandwagon fans or not, it’s a lot more fun to have those folks’ butts in seats. Plus, the ticket sales justify everything we’ve been saying all along. You win and they will come. Well, the Pirates are winning, and the fans are showing up as well.
As Drew Sutton said after his incredible hit last night… “every once in a while, you get a moment. You’d better enjoy it.” I think truer words have never been spoken about anything in life. And as baseball fans, the sport is all about life lessons as well, that we can teach our kids, and that we can learn from ourselves. As those of us that thought that is might be “our year” every year since 1992, we all know disappointment and perseverance.
But this year, even if it turns out not to be “our year” when all is said and done, right now, we are all living in one of those moments that you get every once in a while.
You’d better enjoy it.
Category: Pirates News