Overtime: I told you so, I told you so! Paul Skenes is the real deal


:10—The first seven batters up, the first seven batters out on strikes. Six innings, zero hits, one walk, 11 strikeouts, the first Pirate pitcher to ever strike out 11 Cubs in Wrigley Field. Paul Skenes, all of 21 years of age, is off the charts. He pitched remarkably on the road in Chicago on May 17 just his second-ever start in the Big Leagues. The movement at the tail end of his fastball is laughably outrageous. Wow! Just Wow!

:09—Remember when that reporter asked him about the adjustments the Cubs hitters would make seeing him a second time in such a short time frame and he said, “Good luck.” I’m still laughing. I doubt the Cubs hitters are though. They looked so overmatched you’d of thought Skenes was pitching against a high school team wearing Cubs uniforms.

:08—It seemed like Paul Skenes hit 100 mph-plus on at least half of his 100 pitches but I’m told it was more like a dozen although he had 22 swing-and-misses also due to his ultra-nasty bevy of pitches. Could we be talking Cy Young Award at the end of this season? Is that too optimistic? I go back a long ways and saw Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver pitch along with other Hall of Fame pitchers but I’ve never seen anyone with his skill set. Never.

:07—Let’s move on to the other pitchers in the rotation. Jared Jones, age 22, another rookie, is sporting a 3.05 ERA as of May 25 and has 68 strikeouts in 10 games, an average of 6.8 per game for you math wizards. Bailey Falter, our lefty, has looked better and better with each outing. Did I mention he’s 27? Are you seeing a pattern here? No? You might need a new prescription.

:06—And lastly, our ace from last year, All-Star pitcher Mitch Keller, the old man at 28. The way he’s pitching he’s probably headed to a second straight All-Star appearance and I believe his dominance for the rest of the season is a no-brainer. Keller has all the tools to be a 20-game winner this season and for the foreseeable future. And he might be the third-best pitcher we have.

:05—The Pittsburgh Pirates have four, count ‘em, four legitimate Major League arms. And not just legitimate but four guys that can dominate on most nights they pitch. Drafting Paul Skenes and giving him the $9.2 million signing bonus he wanted was the best thing the Pirates ownership had done, well, probably ever. His talent speaks of multiple Cy Young awards, All-Star appearances and ever-increasing results as he matures and harnesses all his pitches. These four men in a playoff scenario would be extremely hard to beat. Those four live arms in a seven-game playoff series? I mean, c’mon on, I got my money on the Pirates every time.


:04—Now we come to the hitting, still poor but there appears to be light ahead. Andrew McCutchen has begun to hit and Connor Joe is still raking at a .290 clip. Bryan Reynolds just had a career game, going 5 for 5 with a home run and has 27 RBI and Nick Gonzales, another rookie, aged 24, has hit well of late and should remain with the team for the rest of the season. Oneil Cruz is on pace for 25 home runs but don’t be surprised if at the end of the season he has 30 dingers. If they can just add two legitimate hitters in the off-season, both with some power, this team can make a run for the playoffs next season. And this town deserves it.

:03—The defending champion Denver Nuggets and three-time MVP Nikola Jokic were bounced from the playoffs and their quest to win back-to-back titles by the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team loaded and looking like a championship team right now. Do not be surprised if they win it all, they are hungry and stacked. But don’t count out the Boston Celtics.

:02—The NHL hockey playoffs are still going on. That’s all I got.

:01—Xander Schauffele won the second golf major of the year, the PGA Championship with a birdie putt on the 18th hole, besting Bryson DeChambeau by a stroke and finally earning his first major victory. And, unbelievably, Nelly Korda won her sixth title in her last seven tournaments, winning the Mizuho Americas Open by a shot and cementing her as, right now, the most dominant athlete on the planet. She’s just that damn good.







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