Brief and to the Point …
>> We’ll be a little briefer than usual, as I spent Memorial Day with the family.
>> They don’t give out team MVP awards — or any awards — at the one-third point, but my choice for MVP and National League All-Star representative for the Pirates is James McDonald.
This isn’t because of yesterday. The opening sentence of Monday’s column supports that.
It’s because he’s got the 2.20 ERA, he’s fifth in the league in strikeouts, and he’s managed to put it all together into a dynamite pitcher who whiffs people and gets deep into games. It’s been a wonderful overall staff, the best we’ve seen in Pittsburgh in quite some time, but he’s been No. 1 in the group.
He showed why again yesterday.
>> Wrote this in the comments yesterday, but thought I’d repeat for those who avoid the deep water:
For those who think a massive offensive upgrade is needed for the Pirates, I submit these amazing numbers: They are now 16-2 when scoring four or more runs, 20-6 when scoring three or more runs and — this one blows me away — 23-10 when scoring at least TWO MEASLY RUNS.
I understand it isn’t easy to add a bat now, maybe impossible. But I write this to debunk notion that mega-all-stars are needed. The lineup just needs to be average or even below-average.
>> By the way, Drew Sutton is 0 for his past 11 and whiffed in all three at-bats for the Rays out of the cleanup spot yesterday. He might actually be the PTBNL if he keeps it up.
>> I’ll be over at Steelers OTAs for the start of the second round today, and I think I’ve got a column in mind to write off that.