Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> My column this morning canvases the feeling of the Pirates’ players about adding a bat, and I offer my own feeling, too, of course.
The Cliff’s Notes version: Neal Huntington owes it to this team to get the job done.
>> Took a right turn, rather than a left, down in the PNC Park tunnel to check in on the Reds right after the game last night.
I asked manager Dusty Baker what he thought of the Pirates’ pitching: “Can’t say anything bad about it, obviously. We haven’t scored in 18 innings.”
I asked second baseman Brandon Phillips the same thing: “It’s us. It’s not their pitching. I’m just being honest. We’re not getting the job done, especially with guys on base. I mean, they’re a great story. But this is about us. We need to be better.”
This should be instructional: There are two teams out there, and one of them was swinging right through a lot of high fastballs last night. That almost always is the fault of the hitter. I portray it that way when the Pirates whiff like that, and it’s fair to do that when it’s the opponent, too. Fact is, Cincinnati had a ton of lousy at-bats.
That’s not a slight to the Pirates. I liked James McDonald’s command, and I loved Chris Resop’s aggressiveness against the lefties.
But it does take two.
>> Johnny Cueto will take a 2.01 ERA to the mound for the Reds this afternoon, and it will be only about a billion degrees. If I’m the Pirates, I make him throw so many pitches his head spins.
>> Resop told me his last two fastballs on the Joey Votto K pretty much “rose on their own. I don’t know how.” Pure baseball explanation.