If we were to rewrite the most infamous line from Brokeback Mountain to reflect the angst of Pirates fans all over, it would read something like this:
“When will you quit us?”
Don’t look now, but in less than a week your Far Side desktop calendar is going to be reading May and the Buccos are 1.5 games out of first place in the Central. So, will this team be quitting on us any time soon?
I am not sure how to stress this enough, so I will just say it clearly and without ambiguity: it is way too early to tell.
Today the Pirates are four games over. They haven’t been four games over .500 this “late” in the season since 2002. This doesn’t look like a team that is ready to pack it in. Not yet at least.
Their win yesterday – in San Diego, against Jake Peavy, with patchwork line-up – is indicative of the heart of the 2009 Pirates. Nate McLouth? Out. Ryan Doumit? Icing his wrist. Jack Wilson? Paging Jack Wilison. Not even Freddy Sanchez was in the line-up as he recorded his first day off of the season.
And Ohlendorf outdueled Peavy.
This is the way early season baseball works and why we tune in to watch what amounts to merely one in a pool of 162. But what allows us to remain excited is that while the Pirates are hitting – 2nd in the NL Central in runs scored – they are also fielding – 1st in BASEBALL in runs allowed. They are flashing the leather. They are throwing the heat.
We also have Adam LaRoche.
In today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Chuck Finder includes a table outlining Adam LaRoche's torrid start to the season. When compared to his dismal start during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, this season's start can only be considered torrid. His average this season is up .178, he has doubled up in runs scored and has batted in almost three times as many base runners. Also nice to see especially with McLouth out for some time, he has five homers this season. He only averaged two homers in the last two seasons.
Perhaps, this season we can strike “quit” from the lexicon of Pirates fans.
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Written by David Fulco