What a month it has been for these Battlin’ Buccos.
June 19: Pirates lose 10-5 to the Cubs, swept, and fall 15 games back
July 10: Pirates are 6.5 back
— Tim Bowers (@TimBowers62) July 10, 2016
Though they lost the finale to the Chicago Cubs, they took the series – and the series before against the St. Louis Cardinals. Since bottoming out on June 19th, they’ve taken advantage of the Cubs slump jumping right back into the division race.
Playing a BIG part in this resurgence has been the fantastic play of what sounds like a hotel lounge band name: Fryer, Kratz & the Shark Tank. In addition, the new kids on the block Adam Frazier and Josh Bell have made their presence known.
Ring The Bell
Bell has been a revelation coming off the bench these page 3 games. In his first at-bat, he hit to get on base and was driven in. His third AB was also productive, scoring him a walk and a run. His second AB, however, was a thing of history.
Bell came to the plate in the 5th inning as a pinch hitter. The score was 7-5 Pirates and the lead had volleyed back and forth. With one swing of the bat, the game was blown wide open.
While it’s impossible for Bell to keep up such a torrid pace at the plate, he looks to at least have made Clint Hurdle’s decision to possibly return him to Triple-A.
If he does get sent down, it will not be for long. The team may want to tap the brakes a bit so as to not throw away their developmental plan for him. I suspect that his tantalizing talent will be too difficult to pass up.
Until they play the Nationals this Friday, we get to enjoy Mark Melancon and Starling Marte in the 2016 All Star Game!
The division leading Cubs best beware…