Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/28/12
Mlb-june-15th-2010

Follow me on Twitter @jim_krug       (Opening image credit cbspittsburgh)

If the Pittsburgh Pirates are to finish over .500 this season for the first time since 1992, fans may point to the 7th inning of last night’s 11-7 Pirates’ win over the Philadelphia Phillies as a turning point.  The situation was bleak.  Losers of 3 in a row, and on the verge of being swept by their cross-state rivals.  Having seen their 6-run lead shrink to only 1, runners on 1st and 2nd, and still no outs for the Phillies.

Lincoln; Image credit piratesgab

The Pirates called on RP Brad Lincoln, recently demoted back to the bullpen to clear a spot for SP Jeff Karstens’ return from the DL.  With a tenacity as fierce as a vampire hunter, Lincoln promptly struck out Hunter Pence, forced Shane Victorino to fly out, and struck out pinch-hitter Jim Thome on 3 pitches, culminating in an extended staredown of Thome as he walked off the field.  Boom.  The Pirates added 3 more runs- 2 courtesy of CF Andrew McCutchen’s 14th of the year- and the Pirates won 11-7.

Some quick takes from the game:

1.  Welcome back SS Drew Sutton.  After the Pirates claimed him from the Red Sox, then promptly dealt him to the Tampa Bay Rays in a rather puzzling move, Sutton was returned by the Rays, and started for the Bucs last night in LF.  He went 2-4 with a walk and RBI.  Sutton can play every position on the field outsie of catcher, adding one more potential name to the “Guys that would probably be more productive than SS Clint Barmes” list. 

2.  While this author doesn’t think C Mike McKenry is probably a full-time starting catcher, it should be noted that after another HR last night (3 over his last 2 games), “The Fort” is now up to a .798 OPS in 80 AB.  Add his name to the “Guys that would probably be more productive than C Rod Barajas” list.

3.  Sadly, this type of wasteful spending happens every offseason for GM Neal Huntington.  He signs clearly declining, aging veterans to multi-million dollar contracts, and then younger, cheaper, in-house options always surface during the season.  If Huntington is granted another offseason as Pirates’ GM, he should either:

A.  Not waste millions on declining veterans, and instead spend the money on signing young, high-ceiling international players.

B.  Instead of spending $10-15 MM on 3-4 poor free agents, spend all $10-15MM on 1-2 younger, high-quality free agents.

4.  Last night notwithstanding, the Pirates’ bullpen continues to be a strength for the club, among the leaders in all of baseball in ERA.  Across the state however, the bullpen of the high-powered Phillies continues to be its Achilles’ heel.  The pen has a cumulative 4.41 ERA, or 25th in the Majors.

Brown- A future Pirate? Image credit thebaseballhaven

Now would be a prime time for the Pirates to offer any reliever outside of CL Joel Hanrahan for Phillies’ AAA OF Domonic Brown, who, despite being ranked the #4 prospect in all of baseball in 2011, continues to be shut out of the Phillies’ OF, and appears to be allowing his frustrations to manifest in decreased production during another AAA stint this season.  The young slugger still has a cumulative .292 BA and .825 OPS throughout his minor league career.

Thanks for reading.  Go Bucs!

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Here are your 2015 All-Star reserves and pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks president threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

ESPYs golf classic moving from Trump course

Report: Pierre-Paul could miss training camp, start of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Spurs sign David West

Report: Marc Gasol signs five-year deal with Grizzlies

Manu Ginobili announces he will return next season

Robinson Cano dealing with stomach ailment all season

Tony Romo on Dez Bryant's contract: 'I think it will work out'

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Bridgewater on Vikings: 'we’re not as good as what we think'

Floyd Mayweather Officially Stripped Of Welterweight Title

Mo Williams signs 2-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Carli Lloyd had vision she would score four goals in World Cup Final

Carli Lloyd needs help to carry all her World Cup awards

Russell Wilson abstaining from sex with girlfriend Ciara

Coach K on meeting Beyonce for first time: 'I felt like 13'

Three-star TE Michael Irvin Jr. commits to Miami

Bryce Harper skipping HR Derby because of dad's injury

Braves the most interesting team to watch at the deadline?

Video shows FSU QB De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.