Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Baseball Jonesing...

Some Monday hardball stuff:
  • From the Elias Sports Bureau: AJ Burnett became the third Pirate pitcher in the last 82 years to win at least 14 of his first 20 starts of a season. The other Pittsburgh hurlers to do so over that span were Rip Sewell in 1943 (16-2 over his first 20 starts) and Dock Ellis in 1971 (15-3 to that point of the season). Sewell finished the year with 21 wins and Ellis with 19.
  • Ron Cook of the Post Gazette explains why the beanballs didn't fly at Great American Park after four Pirates were plunked during the three games. He was told by AJ Burnett "No one in here has forgotten about what happened to Cutch," but added "The game always dictates what you can do. Winning was more important than all of that other stuff." He was quick to note that there are other games down the road...
  • After a much ballyhooed series, the Pirates and Reds have six games left, but none soon. They play September 10-12th at Great American and September 28-30th at PNC Park. The Bucs have their work cut out to hang tough until then. The Reds don’t face a team with a winning record today until August 24th, when St. Louis arrives in Cincy for a three-game set. The Reds and Pirates have split their matchups so far at 6-6.
  • As Satchel Paige used to say "Don't look back. Something may be gaining on you." In the Pirates case, that something is the Cards, winners of 12-of-16 and just 2-1/2 games behind the Buccos after sweeping Milwaukee.
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo!Sports lists the six most team-friendly contracts in MLB. Yep, Cutch's is among them, but the list consists of some pretty big names - Evan Longeria, Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez and Jered Weaver. Goes to prove that some guys do factor security and comfort levels into their deals.
  • PNC Park is averaging 33,373 fans during its last 11 home dates. Kinda curious to see how the turnstiles spin for a four-game weeknight series against Arizona. There will be a bunch of new guys making their home debut for the faithful to meet and greet - Starling Marte, Wandy Rodriguez, Travis Snider, Gaby Sanchez and Chad Qualls will christen their Pittsburgh launch this week.
  • If you're looking ahead to September or for dog days minor league help, Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects has a pretty inclusive report on all the call-up candidates.
  • You've heard of closer mentality and how it adversely affects relievers when they come in with a big, adrenaline-free lead? Look no further than the Indians Chris Perez for validation. He’s 11-for-11 at protecting one-run leads, but has blown a pair of three-run saves and a two-run cushion for the Tribe.

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