The Pittsburgh Pirates are just 7-20 since May 27. But losses are one thing; how a team reacts to those losses tells the story.
“When you’re not getting the results you want, I think maybe it leads to trying harder than you need to,” Pirates pitcher Kyle Lobstein offered. ”I guess when you’re talking about patience when things aren’t going well, it’s more of a mindset of finding yourself. When things are going well, it’s easy to be patient and things fall into place, so you don’t really have to think about being patient. As long as you can remind yourself of that and really you have to practice it, because it’s not an easy thing to do. When things aren’t going your way you try to push harder and wanting things to work out. You just have to relax.”
Being patient isn’t an easy thing to do when your team is going through a rough stretch, especially when you’re losing to teams you think you should be beating. And Pittsburgh still has expectations of playing postseason baseball. The Pirates remain certain of who they are as a baseball team and have refused to show signs of panic.
“Part of it is having the veterans we have, and they’ve been through it a lot more than the younger guys,” Lobstein said. “As a younger guy, you look to those guys to be able to follow their lead, so that’s a big part of it. As long as you have a good veteran presence like we do, it’s a lot easier to get out of slides.”
Perhaps the first sign of refusal in regard to settling came Friday against a Los Angeles Dodgers team that had been on quite the hot streak.
For some weeks now, starting pitching has plagued the Pirates, and the middle relievers (which includes Lobstein) have been shaky and have needed support from the back end of the bullpen. That was exactly what happened Friday when the Pirates won 8-6, doing so with several obstacles and distractions in their way. It was a win that showed that this team still believes.
“We’re able to do what we needed to get that win, and really that’s what it’s all about,” Lobstein said. “You have to be able to set aside your own personal ambitions and goals as long as the team is getting the job done. There are just some nights where you’re not going to have it, but they’re going to pick you up. Feliz (Feliz) came in and got out of that jam. That was huge and just what we needed.”
And with plenty of season left, there’s still time for the 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates to change their season and their story.
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