Justin Morneau off to fast start with Pirates
After acquiring former AL MVP Justin Morneau from the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, the Pirates accomplished a feat that hasn’t happened in Pittsburgh for 20 seasons. By defeating the Milwaukee Brewers last night the Pirates earned win number 81 and a record of .500 or better. The Pirates have been in contention all season, battling for the NL Central division crown with the Cardinals and Reds who currently own a two-game and three-and-a-half-game lead, respectively. After making two trades in two weeks to boost a lineup ranked 22nd in the MLB for runs scored, the Bucs are now all-in for a World Series ring.
Franklin Pro and veteran leader Justin Morneau brings a powerful lefty bat itching for post-season success to Pittsburgh. Before the trade Morneau owned a .259/.315/.426 batting line in Minnesota with 17 home runs and 74 RBI’s. Morneau entered a power surge in August, blasting nine of his 17 home runs last month. In his first three games with the Pirates, the burly Canadian has recorded four hits in nine at-bats with three walks, helping Pittsburgh win two of the three contests. This season the Pirates have struggled to receive consistent production from a platoon of first basemen, earning a combined .260/.336/.432 batting line with 16 home runs. In addition to a 2006 AL MVP award and finishing second in the 2008 MVP race to fellow Franklin Pro Dustin Pedroia, Morneau has been named to four All-Star teams and won the 2008 Home Run Derby, owning a career .278/.347/.485 batting line with 221 home runs and 860 RBI. In two playoff series, Morneau has a .310/.310/.621 batting line with two home runs and 4 RBIs. We look forward to watching Morneau help the Pirates clinch a postseason berth for the first time since 1992 and see how far they can go. Make sure to check back with the Franklin Sports blog for updates on your favorite Franklin Pro throughout the season.
Continue to check back for more news and notes on all of our Franklin Pros as the second half winds down and the MLB playoff push begins.