Who Invited Murphy To The Party?

Posted on June 3, 2011. Filed under: MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Funny how things work.

Going into Thursday’s series wrap up contest with the Mets, Paul Maholm was 2-7.  With an ERA of 3.18. That’s not a typo . . . 3.18.  He’s been pitching out of his mind to start the season, but the offense seemingly refused to provide run support.  Yet Maholm went on, day in and day out, quality start after quality start, giving his team a chance to win.

Pitcher Paul Maholm Couldn't Hang On This Time . . .

Inevitably, someone invited Murphy to lay down the law yesterday afternoon.  The Mets’ Daniel Murphy, I suppose.  Little bugger caused all kinds of havoc for the Bucs this series. Regardless, the runs just came crashing in on Maholm.  Wouldn’t you know the day the lineup fluffs a seven run cushion for Maholm to sit on, he blew it.

Bound to happen, I say.  The starting pitchers were not going to sustain the mind-blowing 1.67 ERA they had logged in the thirteen games prior to Thursday’s collapse.  At some point, the feeble offense of late had to buck up and make something happen.  And unfortunately for Paul Maholm, he couldn’t hold it together when they did. 

You win some, you lose some, right?  All the matters is how you respond.  Unlike last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, or . . . let’s just say “in a long time”, this is a team primed to galvanize. I feel as if there are leaders within the clubhouse at both managerial and player level that this Pittsburgh team hasn’t had in many years.  Obviously, Hurdle brings confidence and a steady, even keeled cornerstone of attitude to the ebbs and flows of a very long season, and a veteran “been here before” energy comes from Lyle Overbay.  And I’d be remiss to not mention the noticeable spark from call up, Josh Harrison.  I’m really liking this kid.  

BUT what can’t be overlooked or underestimated, is the consistent performance and unwavering presence of Neil Walker. I think he can take the club on his back. It’s his hometown team. He doesn’t say die. I’m sure there’s a fuel to his fire that not only inspires him, but also rubs off on his teammates. At least it should.

The PA Turnpike Series begins tonight.  Here’s that opportunity to respond.  Let’s see if the pitching can recreate some of its recent magic and if the bats can stay hot.  They’ll need both to come out with a series victory against the Phillies.

Time to galvanize, Buccos.

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It Happens In Threes . . .

Posted on April 14, 2009. Filed under: Life, MLB | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

THEY SAY . . . Bad things happen in threes.  Why does this statement always ring true?  And who are “they”?  When tragedy strikes once, the second and third instances are never far behind.  On the heels of Nick Adenhart’s senseless death, the usual time for optimism and excitement during the opening weeks of baseball season have been cast with a somber shadow twice more yesterday.

 

Harry Kalas, 1936 - 2009

Harry Kalas, 1936 - 2009

HARRY KALAS, 73 . . .

The voice.  We will all miss the voice.  Distinctive, baritone, calming.  For almost 40 years, Harry Kalas epitomized Philadelphia baseball and on Monday afternoon around 12:30pm, he was found on the floor of the broadcast booth before the Phillies game against the Washington Nationals and pronounced dead as he was rushed to the hospital.  His love for baseball began with Washington.  He always said the Senators sparked his lifelong passion for the game and his sudden passing happened the only place it could . . . in the broadcast booth in D.C.

I will always remember him as the stormy voice behind NFL Films.  He could send chills through you and emotionally take you to that exact instant in the game as you watched on the edge of your seat, hanging on every word, even though you already knew the outcome.  You will be sorely missed Harry.  Irreplaceable.   

 THE BIRD, 54 . . . Resembling Big Bird from Sesame Street with his curly coif, the animated, former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych was found dead under a 10-wheel dump truck on his farm in Massachusetts at 2:30pm on Monday.  Fidrych baffled baseball fans with his antics as he would groom the mound with his hands and

Mark The Bird Fidrych 1954 - 2009
Mark “The Bird” Fidrych 1954 – 2009

talk to the baseball incessantly, among other things.  In 1976 he threw batters into fits and won the American League Rookie of the Year Award with a record of 19-9, an ERA of 2.34, 24 complete games and a trip to the All-Star Game.  Sadly, injuries cut his career short and he only had a handful more starts, leaving the majors with a career record of 29-9.  Yesterday, his life was cut short as well, but his spirit and approach to the game will always live on.

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