Insider Only Daily 5: Happ’s Dominance, Kessel to elevate Crosby?

Photo: David Hague


*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

1. Expecting a dominant start from J.A. Happ is becoming the norm. It’s now been six straight.

Happ struck out 10 and allowed three hits in the Pirates 5-4 win Wednesday night vs the Reds. Happ’s strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last six starts is 36/5.

Things are setting up for Happ to get Edinson Volquez (2 years, $20 million) money this off-season.

2. Jung Ho Kang first career grand slam

3. The latest two games are a glimpse at the lineup Clint Hurdle would love to work going into the stretch run and become the Pirates best lineup with Aramis Ramirez at first base.

“We’re just trying to figure out the best solution moving forward, as we try to catch the Cardinals and win the division,” Hurdle said. “I think it’s very black and white. We have to give the man [Aramis Ramirez] some innings to see what develops…..I think we know what we have with Pedro in the lineup and Pedro at first. We’re looking to see what other options we might have with a different look…..My challenge is to put the best team out there every night. This is an option that needs to be looked at.”

The writing is on the wall with Pedro Alvarez but in a wildcard game against a righty is it really in the Pirates benefit not to have Alvarez’s bat in the lineup?

4. Phil Kessel arrived in Pittsburgh this week and everywhere you look is talk of whether Kessel will score 40 goals for the first time in his career and there’s even talk of a 50 goal season for Kessel.

While all of the focus is on Sidney Crosby making Kessel into a 40+ goal scorer, the best case scenario is Kessel being able to elevate Crosby’s game.

One source close to Crosby says the new additions have Crosby energized and to expect a monster start to Crosby’s seasons.

“He [Sidney Crosby] can’t wait to get going,” a source close to Crosby says. “I’ve never seen him this relaxed and in such a good place. He’s excited about the new additions and talent around him.”

Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

Comments Disabled

Comments have been disabled for this post.