I don't know if it will last, but this team can challenge for at least second in the NL Central. The way they smacked the ball around against Cincy, and the way the pitchers threw (generally well), gives this long suffering fan some real hope for the first time since forever.
I cannot help but notice where you are from StaggerLee, and while I agree that your Cardinals are the far superior team and should win the division, I think some consideration has to be given to the Pirates, who made quite a few positive moves in the offseason. If Jason Kendall plays anywhere near this well the rest of the season, this team could surprise offensively.
If the pitching holds-up, the Pirates could be an 83-84 win team. Now, throw in a break here and there, the Cubs reverting to their usual form, the Brewers being crap, and the Reds imploding, and the Pirates should have a good chance at 3rd in the Central. I don't see them passing the Cardinals or the Astros barring major injuries on either team. But, at least their is a glimmer of hope for the Pirates, which is an improvement over most of the past decade.
Waiting patiently for Bugsy McGraw to job to Trip at Mania XX.
Incredible, what a way to start the season. Hopefully this year the owners won't band together to say "hey, let's cut the Expos payroll because they're better than us" like they somewhat did last year.
Either way, I still believe that inspite of the Mets spending money, the Phillies improving, the Braves having great piching still, and the Marlins landing Pudge, the Expos will contend for AT LEAST the wildcard, IF NOT the division.
You gotta believe. YOU. GOT. TO. BELIEVE. IN. YOURSELVES.
Reviewer of games, token redneck, and one of the few remaining Expos fans.
It's been a great week for my family (besides me) who is all from Pittsburgh. 3 - 0 this so far this season and Andy Van Slyke (My sister's favorite player) has been on Fox Sports all week.
I think the Pirates could win 3rd. The Cubs pitching is not mad scary at all and have no offense outside of Sosa. Yeah I know they scored a lot of runs the first three games but do you really think Corey Patterson is going to keep it up?
Originally posted by PeterStorkKerry Wood, Mark Prior and Matt Clement coming at you isn't scary? Kyle Farnsworth's fastball hitting triple digits again doesn't strike fear?
The offense needs work, but I'd take their pitching any day of the week, especially if Zambrano comes around like he may and Veres gets his head on straight.
Of course, they are the Cubs, so who knows.
(edited by PeterStork on 4.4.03 0136)
No, it doesn't scare me. Wood has shown he could be an all star but he hasn't shown he can be one of the top pitchers in the league, and Clement and Prior haven't shown anything to make me believe they are definite aces. I have to actually see they are good before believing it. There have been tons of pitchers who were great prospects and never worked out.
Well after watching the Braves getting smacked around by the Marlins, I relized the Braves want me to die of a ulcer this season. Byrd and Hampton are hurt and I have no idea who in our bullpen is.
We have the bats but we don't have the runs. We leave tons of men on base all the tie. I know it's early in the season so it really doesn't bother me that much NOW. But if its June its the same way i'm gonna go crazy. But last year they started off the same way last and turned it around to a regular 90+ win season.
BTW: PeterStork, I love your avatar. I'm a closet Gilmore Girls fan.
They got off to a 12-5 start last year and were in first place as late as April 30th. Regardless, it's a good month to be a Buc fan. Sanders and Lofton have been a big boost to the club. Only problem is, I think they're each signed for one year. Who plays the OF next year? JJ Davis and Tony Alvarez? This year may be their best shot to contend.
I think their pitching will be okay. Fogg and Wells each took their lumps while pitching a full schedule last year. Suppan and D'Amico are rotation fillers, but could combine for 15-20 wins (that's being optimistic). Pirates have some young arms in the minors, but also have Julian Tavarez, Salomon Torres, Pat Mahomes (Nashville), John Wasdin (who pitched a perfect game for Nashville last night) to eat up innings. That should prevent the team from rushing any young pitchers to the bigs this year. Mike Williams has been one of the better closers in the game over the last year, and Scott Sauerbeck has been a very underappreciated reliever as well.
Finally, I like how Lloyd McClendon said "16-1 losses don't hurt nearly as much as those 2-1 losses" (paraphrased). And damn, that was a KICK seeing the old 70/s'80's gear over the weekend!
The Padres in 1998 is a perfect example of this. John Moores put up a $50 million payroll in 1998 just to get to the World Series, then had to dismantle the team because he lost almost $20 million that season.