Remember at the beginning of the season when I documented the resurgence of former Pirate Kip Wells? Wells was one of my least favorite Buccos of the past decade and it seemed that he always wanted out of Pittsburgh so he could have a shot at success. He believed he was bigger than he was and took his cocky act around the league. He has been a journey man reliever and began the year in Washington. He has since been signed by the Reds and actually started today’s game against the visiting Bucs.
Prior to the game I wanted nothing more than to have the Buccos make an example out of this guy. While no current Pirate players were around when Kip was on the Pittsburgh club, it still would have made an impact for fans, loyal fans, like myself.
However, as John Steinbeck once said in his most famous book…”the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Kip didn’t just go out and pitch wel, he was fairly dominant. He went 6 innings only allowing 2 hits and 2 earned runs. It was pretty depressing. The Pirates only mustered up 5 hits. 4 of which were by Ronny Cedeno and Jason Jaramillo. The other hit came by way of McCutchen. No not Andrew, the potential rookie of the year, in fact the other hit came off the bat of Daniel, Daniel McCutchen.
He had his teeth gritted and fire in his eyes. It was his major league debut. He did manage one hit-off his own bat. On the other hand, he gave up 5 hits, and 3 earned runs. In just his second major league pitch he surrendered a homerun to leadoff Cincinatti batter Drew Stubbs. After that things were looking better. He settled down and found his groove. He also put the Pirates in a position to win the game, something they haven’t been used to.
Its been a while since I last wrote an entry and when I last left off the Bucs were looking good. They were strong at the plate and recieving excellent starting pitching.
Then they headed to Milwaukee.
The Pirates were swept over the weekend by the Brewers. The games were not totally ugly losses but the Brewers always have the Pirates number at Miller Park.
Like always Ryan Braun killed the Bucs with his bat. He reached base every game against the Bucs and hit a homerun, something he always seems to do when playing against Pitt.
I post this picture amidst my hurls of hatred but I figured my female readers may appreciate it. I’ve always voiced my dislike of the man. No doubt hes a great player, I just don’t appreciate his style of play on and off the field.
The Pirates have lost 21 straight games at Miller Park. Its downright disheartening, but then again so is the Pirates record away from home. They are 18-47 outside of PNC Park. You might as well make it 18-48 as the Reds are downing them here in game 2 of the doubleheader. Brandon Phillips smashed a home run and Cincinatti holds a 4-0 lead. No matter what is to come…LETS GO BUCS
The Nationals keep plundering adn their bullpen is a major reason for the shortcomings.
However, last night was a different story.
Fromer Bucco Julian Tavarez set out for the save an nailed it. The Nats picked up their 5th win of the season winning 4-1 in Philly. Another former Bucco came in the game and held it for Washington.
You guessed it, it was the Mad Kipper. Yeah, I suppose it doesn’t have the same ring as the Mad Capper, but the way Wells has been throwing I think worthy comparrisons can be drawn between the two.
In another inning of work on Wednesday Wells walked to Phillie batters but got out of a jam by retiring each batter and not giving up a a hit. Look at the determinination in those eyes. With Wells on the mound and you’re an opposing batter, God help you. WIth something to prove and gas still running in his tank, Kippy has been masterful for the Nats depleted bullpen. If he keep doing what he’s doing a call to the rotation is bound to happen sooner or later. Kip has 2 holds on the year, including one from last night. His 1.69 era is 2nd on the team behind yet another former Bucco, Joe Beimel.
The Nats are just becoming a team of Pirate castoffs. WIth Tavarez, Beimel and Wells in the pen its no wonder why their pitching is underachieveing. The trio never quite lived up to expectations in the Burgh and now they’re giving fans in the Nations Capital something to moan about. Who knows, maybe they’ll turn things around. There is no where to go but up.
Last night’s loss was tough to swallow. It was a comeback wasted after Milwaukee destroyed the Buc’s bullpen torching the staff for 5 runs. Jeff Karstens began the game and lobbed 3 homerun balls to Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks and Mike Cameron respectively. Jesse Chavez first relieved Karstens in the 6th and did a quality job. Chavez looked demanding and controlling getting batts to pop up. At the beginning of the year I questioned the move to make him a go-to-guy out of the pen, but he has since proved me wrong. Tyler Yates on the other hand has proved me right. I’ve never been a fan of the guy and he has given me no real reason to support him.
Yates has a record of 0- on the young season, the loss coming in last night’s game, and a dismal era of 9.95. In only 6.1 innings pitched he has walked 4 batters, given up 7 earned runs and has successfully made me cringe and sweat upon his appearances on the mound.
John Grabow was a surprise failure in yesterday’s game. Grabow was able to just retire one batter as he was just all over the place walking 2 batters and earning two runs.
The only key reliever was Evan Meek, throwing a full inning Meek struck out two batters. Meek deserves more of a tip of the cap from our organization. After beginning the year in Indy Meek has stepped in and done an unfathomable good job. Not allowing a run in two appearances and giving me confidence whenever he steps on the mound. It would pay great dividends to keep him up here, even when Craig Hansen returns from the DL. Yates should be the one sent down.
The bullpen of the Nationals has also been abysmal. Thats right it’s time for another installment of WELL’S WATCH.
It was a tight game between the Nats and Philies last night, a 13-11 slugfest that was ultimately won by the Phils. With the score close and the Nats within striking distance Kipper was called on to keep Philly in check. Which he did masterfully. Wells went one strong inning and struck out two batters.
So far on the year Kip has appeared in four games and has only suffered one earned run. Three strikeouts in only 4 innings pitched, two hits in only four innings pitched and no homeruns in only 4 innings pitched. Hey in my book, thats solid. He’s been solid without a doubt and looks like he’s really coming around. The bullpen is definately the spot for him. Looks like we should have utilized him out of the pen, instead of throwing him in the starting role like a chicken with his head cut off.
Another great night a PNC Park….
RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER…8-6
It was another tiny crowd, in fact my brother’s soccer game drew more people. The announced paid attendance of over 9,000 was so inaccurate. I’d say abou 3,000 people actually came through the gates last night. WIth the Pens game going on at the exact same time, and the weather conditions less than ideal there are some valid excuses for not turning out. But come on, ITS A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAME!. The Pirates are playing great baseball. Freddy Sanchez is on a tear, briging his average up to .367, it looks like we’re getting back the Freddy of old. His 3 hits last night, including a solo homerun paced the Bucs and ultimately concluded the game with the 3-2 win over the best team in baseball, the Florida Marlins.
Our starting pitching was on the ball once again. Jeff Karstens had a quality start going 6 innings only allowing 3 hits and one run. OUr bullpen was shaky however. Tyler Yates came in and gave up a home run to Cameron Maybin. It was a deep shot into the second deck of the bleachers in left field, right over my head. In fact it was the first home run hit into “MORGANTOWN”. In honor of left fielder Nyjer Morgan me and my buddies made a sign that simply said Morgantown. We hung it over the railing in left field, chanted “Nyjer Morgan” (like the bleacher creatures in Yankee Stadium), and “Welcome to Morgantown”. He got a big kick out of it, and threw us ball he was warming up with. The people around us enjoyed it too chanting right along with us. Its also kind of punnny becuase as students of WVU we’re resients of Morgantown, WV. Just another catchy reason to do it in the first place. The sign is good in Pittsburgh as well as on campus in Morgantown. Look for “Morgantown” at many games throught this season, the city is always growing and can use more residents too!
Kip saw his first action in the major leagues this year on Monday. The now reliever for the Nationals threw one full inning only walking one batter. He shut down the next three in order. While he was only out there for an inning the Nats picked up the win 3-2 over the Braves
Kip Wells…man where do I start. Back in the 2001 off season I remember being so pumped that the Pirates recieved him in a trade that sent Todd Ritchie to the White Sox. As an avid baseball card collecter I remember reading Beckett Baseball Card monthly and studying hot prospects whose cards would soon be worth big bucks. Wells was listed in the hot top 25 and nonetheless I had one of his minor league cards. Becoming a Pirate would be a great way for me to watch this up and comer and support him playing for my team.
I got my card autographed at the Pirates Caravan that came to my former hometown of Youngstown, OH. I was very excited, the complete opposite of Wells’s reaction. He kept to himself and never really had a smile on his face. I would soon relaize me and this guy would never have a good relationship.
His sour attitude upon his shortcoming as a bucco made me despise him everytime he took the mound. What sent me over the edge was when I attended a game in Cincinatti there was a sparce gathering of Pirate fans along the infield fence during batting practice. I had a ball out ready for autographs for whoever walked by. Kip comes over, everybody yelling his name and cheering in support, but what does he do? Snubs the crowd without acknowldgement or any sense of care. My mother, who is not the biggest Pirate fan, or baseball fan for that matter, was very taken aback by his gesture and developed the same harsh feelings for Kip.
Since his departure from the Pirates in 2006 he has been a drifter, playing for the Rangers,
Cardinals, Rockies, Royals and most recently the Nationals.
The reason for this rant is that I saw his anme mentioned on Sportscenter tonight, he has been promoted to the Nationals big league club where he will pitch out of the bullpen. I found it amusing that a kid with such great promise has turned into what Kip Wells has turned into. Pretty much just a forgotten big leaguer with no future, sorry for the negative sentiments. His stats has been dismal these past three years and this very well could be his last hurrah in the major leagues. I look forward to keeping track of his Nats tenure. If he succeeds—all the best. If he fails—-I hate to say, I told ya so.
PHOTO CREDIT: cache.dailylife.com/chrisoleary.com