It’s hard to take many positives out of the Pirates (52-47) three game series with the St. Louis Cardinals (53-48), being outscored 18-8 in the series, except for the fact that they put together a gutsy 4-3 win in extra innings to move into a three-way tie in first place in the NL Central through 99 games.
“We’ve got confidence, ” manager Clint Hurdle said of his ballclub. “This was a mile marker on a road to 162, ” Hurdle said. “That’s what it is for our ballclub. That’s the way we look at it.”
The St. Louis Cardinals are a better ball club than the Pirates and before the season is all said and done, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Pirates implode but nearing the 100 game mark, they are right there with the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers and are a better ballclub at the moment then the Cincinnati Reds who are just 3.5 games out of first.
One thing this team hasn’t lost is confidence and they continue to grind out runs with contributions from unlikely players at clutch moments.
Today it was a 2-RBI game from Chase d’Arnaud….. Eric Fryer with 2 hits and a stolen base…..Xaiver Paul with excellent base running ability in 10th, scoring the winning run.
*It’s a certainity that the Pirates group of relievers have heard the continuous trade rumors of the Pirates upgrading the bullpen as their top priority, leading up to the July 31st trade deadline.
What they have done is a great job rallying around each other and not letting the trade speculation affect their play.
The bullpen combined for 4 2/3 shutout innings today vs St. Louis, paving the way to a 4-3 win.
Jason Grilli has looked solid thus far and was effective today, pitching 1 2/3 shutout innings, throwing 15 strikes on 24 pitches, striking out 2 batters.
Joe Beimel who has been regarded as being in serious danger of losing his roster spot, has gutted out 2 2/3 shutout innings, since returning from injury on July 17th.
Neal Huntington and the Pirates brass are stressing patience and discipline on the trade market as the asking prices are astronomical, according to Huntington.
“Surprising as it sounds, probably getting worse, ” Huntington said on the asking price from sellers. “It’s a Challenging time of the year. We’re absolutely motivated to help this club. Just not motivated to do something stupuid and foolish and that’s a challenge.”
“This club deserves something to help them but at this point the acquisition cost are just so high, it’s been a challenge, ” Huntington said. “Will that change in the next week? probably.. That’s where were just going to stay discipline and stay consistent. Stay with teams and if the asking price changes, we’ll hopefully look to add. Otherwise, we’re getting guys heathy, we’re getting guys coming back, we’re getting guys on right track and again as we’ve talked before, our best options may come within, ” Huntington said.
Huntington who has been a seller for the past three years, indicates that there are more buyers than in recent years.
“More buyers in this market than there’s been in recent years, ” Huntington said. “Value of young players only continues to escalate.”
Huntington continues to insist that he is willing to move prospects for trades that make sense.
“We’ve heard from a handful clubs that our system is much deeper than they antcipated it being, ” Huntington said.