A nice win tonight. The game might not have meant much to the Pirates but it was huge for the Cardinals (4.5 games back of the wildcard, 6 of the division) so it is nice to see the bucs battling to the bitter end. A clutch hit by Ciriaco there. I was amazed that after using 3 pinch hitters and two pinch runners that inning that Hurdle left Ciriaco in there to hit but he came up huge. Also d’Arnaud deserves some serious props or that sick play he made in the 9th. Just an amazing play. An all around great baseball game.
As for Huntington’s contract extension I don’t have too much to say about it. I feel this team is headed in the right direction and he has earned the chance to see it through. Three years was probably a year too long but if after two the team is still where it is now well the last year won’t be a huge obstacle in removing him. With that being said, without a doubt Huntington’s future is in the hands of Pedro Alvarez. If he succeeds then so will Huntington, if he doesn’t, well that is another story.
The pitching has fallen apart but I’m confident it is not this bad. Morton and McDonald look like solid rotation pieces next season. I also think with Karstens early season performance he deserves a spot. Lincoln has also pitched well in limited time so I see him as a deserving candidate. In my opinion a fifth guy will need to brought in. Ohlendorf should be DFAd and Correia kept around as the 6th starter and insurance for Karstens and Lincoln (maybe let him start a few games on the road). Hanrahan despite his struggles is set and the Pirates need to do everything they can to get Meek back into healthy form. There are some other decent options in Watson, Resop, Grilli, etc who should be able to fill out most of the other spots.
The lineup for next season has as many holes (C,1B,3B, SS) and filled spots (2B, LF, CF, RF). A lot of work to do there. The Pirates are at least going to have to consider bringing back one or more of Doumit, Lee and Cedeno. They won’t be able to fill all 3 of those spots externally this offseason.
Now some site notes. I haven’t posted here much lately but that is not because I am slowing down my posts but because I am planning on revamping the blog. I got a few pieces I have planned for the offseason and of course some things to wrap up the season. I will keep posting sporadically until the end of the season and then will do my season wrap up. After that as is my tradition I will take off from Pirate baseball until the end of the World Series. At that point the revamping of the site and the offseason posts will begin.
Thank you to my very small following of readers. Hopefully the base continues to grow next year.