I want to start this post out by saying something along the lines of "Here's what I like about this Pirate team recently," but, of course, that'd be a pretty long list of things. It's 3 AM (Who agrees to go to a midnight showing of Spider-Man when he woke up at 6 AM and spent most of the day in the airport? Me, unsurprisingly.) and this recap needs focus.
The Pirates lost two games in Philadelphia last week because they were sloppy. They've rattled off five wins in their last six games since then, but not because they've stopped being sloppy. They're still doing dumb things in the field, doing really dumb things on the bases, and the starting pitching has left quite a bit to desire on most nights over the past week. The Pirates have won five times in their last six games, because they're just obliterating opposing pitching.
Here are the specifics from Monday: five doubles, two triples, and two home runs (two back to back home runs off of the foul pole). Four hits apiece for Andrew McCutchen (three runs scored) and Garrett Jones (three runs scored, four RBIs, and the homer that started it all), and three for Casey McGehee (two doubles). James McDonald's five walks didn't matter because once the lumber mill got fired up at PNC on Monday, the Astros stood no chance at all. It was incredible to watch.
I hate to be one of those guys that points out the Pirates' record (it's 43-36!) and just stupidly stands around grinning, but the Pirates played excellent baseball for the entire month of June and now that we're into July, we're hitting a point in the season where they're winning a lot of games in convincing fashion without playing their best baseball. This is not something that I'm used to seeing, but it's just an incredible amount of fun.
It's sort of been obscured by the Andrew McCutchen triple-slash line which would be a good year for Stan Musial, but Garrett Jones has his slugging average over .500, and is on pace for 30-plus doubles and 20-plus homers. That's not a reason to go shouting his numbers in the streets, but considering all the "Cutch and the Seven Dwarfs" jokes, man deserves a little respect.