After two decades of utter futility, the Pirates are looking pretty damn good. They may well go into the All-Star break with the best record in either league. Good for them. I am sincerely happy for their long-suffering fan base, and I don't mind that I will apparently be denied my perverse ritual of years past, in which the Pirates would notch their 82nd loss of the Season, and I would say to myself, "Well, the A's might have hit a rough patch of late, but things could be much worse. At least I'm not a Pirates fan."
Now that both teams are playing well, I wonder if the Yankees might oblige me by entering one of their infrequent eras of protracted suckage. Just Sayin'. I mean, Robinson Cano has a damn ring already, so it isn't like he'd be totally screwed like Mattingly was...
Anyway, the Pirates. Their Farm System in the late 1970s was pretty deep. I think the last decent thing Charlie Finley did for the A's was trading Phil Garner to the Pirates for Mitchell Page, Rick Langford, Tony Armas, and Doug Bair, who was subsequently flipped for Dave Revering in a deal with the Reds. (I've simplified the details somewhat, but that's the gist of it). Actually, the last decent thing Finley did for the A's was selling the team to the Haas family. Thanks, Charlie.
Let's GOG This
THE QUESTIONS (59 points)
1. Series Outcome (3 points) A's 2-1
2. Hold The Line, Runs Isn't Always On Time I hope the younger GOGers among us didn't get that reference, because I freakin' hate Toto. They deserve to be forgotten. Except for that "Lovers in the Night" song off of Toto IV. That song rules! Anyway, the A's and Pirates have scored a combined average of 8.5 Runs Per Game this season. Run scoring at PNC is 11% below average, so... Predict Over/Under 7.5 total Runs for each game. (1 point each, 3 total) Under/Under/Under
3. The Obligatory Question About Andrew McCutchen I guess I don't have to feel sorry for this guy anymore, as he is no longer trapped on a crappy-ass team. His numbers this year are roughly similar to Coco Crisp's, albeit a bit shinier. Predict AB/H/XBH for McCutchen. Now, do the same for Crisp. (2 points each) Do either of them steal a base during this Series? (1 point, 13 total) McCutchen: 10/3/0 Crisp: 12/4/0 No SB
4. Colon And Milone Congratulations, Bartolo Colon! You're this year's All-Star Representative for the Oakland A's. Now excuse me while I go punch something. Predict Over/Under 6.5 IP (6 1/3=Under 6 2/3=Over)/ 6.5 Hits Allowed/ 1.5 BB/ 4.5 Ks for Colon. (1 point each) I feel as though I've been neglecting Tommy Milone of late; I couldn't help but notice that his Home/Road split isn't as shocking this year, although he still does much better at the Coli. Predict Tommy's IP/H/ER/BB/K (2 points each) Does he give up a Home Run? (1 point, 15 total) Colon: Over 6.5 IP/Over 6.5 H/Under 1.5 BB/ Over 4.5 K Milone: 2.2 IP/7 H/3 ER/2 BB/2 K/ No HR
5. Bullpen Connect 4, Mazzaro World Edition For each team, name the Relief Pitcher who:
a) Pitches the most Innings
b) Gives up the most Hits
c) Walks the most Batters
d) Notches the most Strikeouts (2 points per RP, 4 per category)
A tie in any category counts for points. Zeros for any category do not constitute a tie. No points for that team in that category, unless you specifically guess "zero" or "nobody". Take 2 extra points if you correctly guess "Vin Mazzaro" for any Pirates' category. 2 points max Take an extra 3 points if you correctly guess both Pitchers in at least one category. Take an extra 4 points if you correctly guess either team's pitchers in all four categories. 4 points max for this part. (25 points, if you run the table!) IP: Cook, Balfour, Gray/Wilson H: Neshek/Wilson BB: Blevins/Grilli K: Gray(!)/Wilson
Answers Due by Monday, 4:05 PM PDT. Good Luck, and Let's Go A's