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AUBREY BRUCE

When I think of an act of nature, I usually visualize some poor souls living on some of America’s flatlands, those living close to earthquake faults, major flooding zones and tornado hotspots, always facing the risk of losing their homes. I would have never in a zillion years equated a victory by the Pittsburgh Pirates over any opponent as being part of an “act of nature.”

Aside from the natural injuries that the Pirates have suffered recently, they were bound to catch a break sometime, however miniscule. During several of his previous starts, Pirates pitcher Chad Kuhl (1-4), appeared to be battling “Triple-A-itis,” “Nervo-litis,” or just plain bad pitching.  However, after being rain-soaked for most of the game, Mother Nature aided the Pirates in securing a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on May 21 at PNC Park.

The victory came by way of Pirates infielder David Freese being hit by a pitch thrown by Phillies starter Aaron Nola with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, forcing home Pirates outfielder Adam Frazier with the game’s only run. Freese was not really trying to get out of the way and admitted it. “I’m not really good about getting out of the way, anyway,” Freese said. “But I saw it coming and I was trying to wear it, for sure. Just get that RBI.”

After several subpar outings by Kuhl, he and his relief mates had a healthy dose of nature coupled with a few “celluloid digital tools” to help Kuhl steady his ship. Kuhl commented: “I looked back, watched a ton of video and tried to get back to when I was good. It feels great to have it show up in the game—all the work paying off. It just feels like I’m on the right track.”

There is still an almost consistent anemia that is dogging the Pirates order.

“I looked back, watched a ton of video and tried to get back to when I was good,” the second-year pitcher said. “It feels great to have it show up in the game—all the work paying off. It just feels like I’m on the right track.”

In a previous article, I stated that in my opinion, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was displaying some of his “Houdini gene” by keeping his team competitive in the midst of horrible personnel circumstances and I was right. As of May 21, Pittsburgh had climbed back to within 4 games of .500 and although the Pirates remained in the basement of the NL Central, the Bucs were still only 5 games out of first place. It seems as if there is no “hurdle” that Pirates manager Clint “Hurdle” can’t figure out and overcome. The Pirates better take the “stitches out of their britches” and begin to mount some serious offense if they are to appear on any team’s radar in order to be taken seriously, now or in the future.

They cannot realistically afford to expect nature or their opponents to offer them a helping hand.

(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741. )

 

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