The New York Mets are facing the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first time this season, but the Pirates are a different team now than they were in 2010. With Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, and Jose Tabata all a year older (and thus a year more experienced), the Pirates have a promising team on the horizon. To speak more to this, I exchanged a Series Six Pack with Pirates lead-blogger, Tom Smith, from FanSided’s Rum Bunter.
1. Are you at all worried about Pedro Alvarez’s dreadful start?
I’m not worried about Pedro Alvarez. He was starting to come out of the struggles when the hamstring flared up. The time in Florida will be good the Pirates slugger.
2. Charlie Morton has been turning a lot of heads with his flashy sub-2.00 ERA, but does his pedestrian K/BB speak more to his long-term ability?
Charlie Morton has an entirely new approach from A to Z. There is no magic wand in baseball, so his numbers aren’t something I am paying attention to right now. He has shown me enough to start believing that his new mechanics and pitch selection will be successful. The Mets played smart baseball last night and the Bucs fielding was atrocious once again. What we think is vital for Morton is, how he appears mentally. If he can maintain his mental toughness the numbers will come. Now about his approach against left handers…..
3. Do you think Joel Hanrahan will still be a Pittsburgh Pirate by the deadline?
I think Joel Hanrahan will be in Pirates black and gold after the deadline. The Pirates GM Neal Huntington has placed some large demands in the form of a return for the Buccos closer. It’s too much and we simply can’t see teams outweighing his value to pull the trigger on a deal.
4. Would either Chris Resop or Evan Meek make suitable closers if Hanrahan is gone?
Chris Resop or Evan Meek wouldn’t be as strong as Hanrahan. When Hanranator has his breaking ball working it’s simply unfair to the opponent. He dominates. We trust you and the Mets fans will have the opportunity to see it for yourself.
5. Should fans expect James McDonald to pitch closer to his March/April-self (7.66 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 0/94 K/BB) or his May-self (3.14 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.75 K/BB) in 2011?
James McDonald was injured and should have been placed on the DL to start the season. It was a stupid decision for the Bucs to have placed him in the rotation. He has been pitching better and is a bright spot in the Pirates future plans. We still believe he is an injury candidate although we trust we are wrong on this.
6. Are you expecting anything out of Brandon Wood?
Brandon Wood. He plays for the Pirates? Never heard of his….no, seriously Wood has some major shortcomings in his game. Early on he had a stretch of reaching base safely in 13 of 19 games, recently he has been putrid. One hit in 22 games heading into tonight.