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The interesting things people said Friday


So about last night …. it wasn’t so great for the Pirates.


Jonathan Sanchez didn’t record an out. He allowed two home runs and was tossed after hitting Allen Craig. They may be his last 17 pitches as a Pirates’ starting pitcher. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Sanchez will be available in the bullpen today because he threw so few pitches, but with Francisco Liriano ready on May 10 and Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole not far behind, it’s very possible we’ve seen the last of Sanchez as a starter. A decline in velocity combined with shaky command has led to extremely poor results for Sanchez, who is winless in his 18 starts.


Also in the series-opening loss, Neil Walker required six stitches to close a cut. He could be out for a few days. And for good measure, Hurdle and Jay Bell got tossed.


But that’s one night.


The big picture through nearly one month of the season is this: this is might be the Pirates team in 20 years.


That’s what FOX/MLB national writer Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday on Twitter:

@Ken_Rosenthal Rival GM: “Best Pirates team I’ve seen in 20 years.” In particular, cited depth of lineup. #Pirates
And unlike last year, the Pirates actually have something in reserve in with Liriano, Morton and Cole. The rotation should get better.
Hurdle cited the depth of the lineup last week. He said it’s the deepest lineup he’s had with the Pirates, noting that Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin are batting in the bottom of the lineup.
If the Pirates can split this road trip that would be a victory in of itself. And if they can keep their heads above .500 until Liriano, Morton and Cole arrive, well, we could very well be looking at the best Pirates team in 20 years.
Yes, the bar has been set incredibly low, but a winning season is the kind of positive momentum that is so desperately needed.
Interesting factoid from one of my favorites, John Perrotto:
@jperrotto RHP A.J. Burnett goes into tonight’s start with NL-leading 42 strikeouts. Last Buc pitcher to lead NL in Ks: Preacher Roe in 1945.
Wow. Preacher Roe?
Preacher Roe and AJ Burnett could have something in common this season
The interesting thing Sanchez said Friday night is that he through the ball well. Not seeing that. Sanchez has to develop some consistency with his delivery to lead to better command, and perhaps the best place to find make adjustments is in the bullpen.  We’ll see.
- TS
(Twitter: @Sawchik_Trib)


  1. bdubb says:

    Best Pirate team in 20 years? How hard is that? Sure it’s good to hear but it isn’t like there were a couple 1991 Pirates teams in there

    And yes Liriano and Morton are better than Sanchez so that should help but again, what are we comparing them to?

    Sanchez should be cut for the simple fact this team needs starters innings and not providing an out should be an automatic cut

  2. egscoach says:

    Would be swell if we had some starting pitching beyond Ace J and Wandy. Sorry but I can’t get my hopes up about Liriano, Morton and Karstens. I’ll need to see a few starts at the major league level before getting excited about the help that is on the way. No matter what, Sanchez has to go. Not to the pen. He just has to go.

  3. T.S. says:

    Sanchez is not a major league ballplayer.

  4. Travis Sawchik says:

    Maybe I’m still stuck on Liriano’s 2007 debut, but the guy still intrigues me. … Not many lefties with his velo and slider, but will the command ever improve? He’s worth the $1 million lottery ticket, imo.

    The other question is this: can Locke keep pitching like this?

  5. Travis Sawchik says:

    As I noted the bar has been set low the last 20 years, but maybe a better way to couch this is the Pirates actually have a chance to finish above .500 and be relevant in September. That would be a big deal as this program at least needs some positive momentum going into the offseason

  6. John Lease says:

    First place! I’ll TAKE IT!

  7. RobertoForever says:

    Preach it Travis.

    People are mimicking this “Let them win or let them be fired”

    Really? So the Pirates have a great April, against some of the toughest competition, a winning road record, first place, Cutch struggling, and pitching help on the way, and all they can say is, I won’t be fooled again???

    Seriously? Good, let the people who are not so cynical enjoy the ride. It may well end up a little short. But it may just be the year. And they will miss out while sticking their fingers in their ears chanting la-la-la.

    In the words of Cutch – #BUCN #BelieveIT

  8. Terry M says:

    Factoid is not correct. LHP Bob Veale of Pirates led the NL in Ks with 250 in 1964.

  9. ChuckMo says:

    wait until August and September to worry about August and September. Enjoy the moment now!

  10. Travis Sawchik says:

    Terry, you’re right … Bob Veale did lead the league in Ks in 1964. (Sorry, Preacher)

  11. Travis Sawchik says:

    Good message for players … but we the few, the proud, the analysts always are looking ahead

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