Pittsburgh Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes Returns, Shows no Moment is too Big
|Photo Credit: Matt Freed/Post-Gazette|
It was a special night in the city of Pittsburgh. Ke'Bryan Hayes returned from the injured list and for the first time in his career played in front of Pirates' fans. He didn't take long to get things going.
There are going to be a lot of articles around the internet talking about Hayes' return. For just cause. You don't have to be around him for long to realize he is a special person. To be honest, you probably don't even have to be around him at all to realize that.
To say that you are a Pirates fan, carries a lot of weight. Depending on your age, the window of you being able to say that you've seen a winning team is very small. So, there is a lot of pain that comes with rooting for the brand.
Every now and again, teams come across a player that not only has the talent on the field, but the charisma off of it that they can levy as the 'face of the franchise'.
I'm not saying Hayes is that guy. It's almost unfair to put him in that category yet. You can see he is going to be a special player.
It hasn't been an easy year for Pirates' fans, which was expected, but we were given a glimmer of hope after seeing what Hayes was capable of in 2020. But in just the second game, it was taken away from us, and we've had to wait until Thursday night to see it again.
You know those players that can just sense the moment, and come through when it matters most? About nine months ago, I wrote on here about Hayes' debut, and the amazing performance he put on in just his first career game.
Then, on Opening Day he goes deep in his first at bat. Now in his return, he singled in his first at bat, hit a triple in his third and made a defensive stop to help keep the game close.
Each and every time the moment has shined bright, he has stepped up.
But maybe, more importantly, he has generated a buzz around the baseball team that isn't seen often. It was all over social media. And now that he is back, and fans are back, the buzz will continue to grow.
That's not saying that Hayes alone solves everything. That's far from the case, but it is actually perfect, because there are going to be some growing pains involved. He doesn't even have 100 career at bats in majors.
The special thing is that we are going to get to watch him grow. Get to see him take those lumps one night, just to deliver big the next. We get to watch the team rally around him as he becomes the leader of this franchise.
And the best part of it is, because it's baseball, we get to see him do it every night. Not every couple of days, or not just on Sunday's but we get him for an entire 162 game season until he isn't a Pirate anymore.
That's just an awesome feeling to think about that, isn't it?
Some news/notes from the game
>>That was a good bounce back game from Tyler Anderson. He did get hit for three runs, but it was definitely a step back in the right direction.
>>I am so excited to get to watch Hayes and Bryan Reynolds as a 1-2 punch. I'm sure there is a debate to be had about which should hit in what order but that seems like a pretty good problem to have on a team that's going to be in a fight for the worst record in the league.
>>Have to give props to Jacob Stallings for putting together an amazing at bat that won the game for the Pirates. After one of his ugliest swings I've ever seen him take, he fought back until he got the pitch he wanted and delivered with a bases clearing double.
Also, if we are going to say anything about Stallings at bat you have to mention Gregory Polanco's right before it. After getting called out on strikes like he did in the first inning, it would have been easy for him to get shaken. He was able to erase it and draw a walk that loaded the bases.
>>Colin Moran started his rehab stint, which means we are that much closer to a getting to the lineup that was originally planned. At least at the top with Adam Frazier-Hayes-Reynolds-Moran-Stallings. That's, not a horrible top of the order. If only something could be done about the bottom.