BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) – There is no question what happened at PNC Park last fall.
“Those playoffs games were amazing,” said Pirates first baseman Gabby Sanchez.
It made a lasting impression on the team.
“I still get chills and goose bumps when I think of that post-season, that wildcard game,” said third baseman Pedro Alvarez.
“It was like 20 years of emotion bottled up in that space,” said pitcher Charlie Morton. “It was incredible.”
But as exhilarating as it was, the team still needs to keep that motivation.
“I think or all of us, we walked away from it being unsatisfied,” said outfielder Travis Snider. “And for us to be successful and move forward as champions, we have to stay hungry.”
Because, as Snider points out: “Nothing in 2013 is going to get us to where we want to be in 2014.”
So they sat down as a team early on and watched last year’s highlights, with the mindset of improving.
“Let’s start over, you can’t change that, let’s learn from it and let’s move forward,” catcher Andrew McCutchen said.
And move on they have, with intensity and pushing each other to do better.
“I’m really impressed,” said catcher Russell Martin. ”I feel like our guys are more focused than ever.”
Already , the shark tank bullpen is chomping at the chum.
“I tell you what,” said pitcher Mark Melancon. “Our bullpen will be up against any bullpen in baseball, without a doubt.”
“I don’t believe we are missing anything,” he added. “I believe in everybody in that clubhouse, top to bottom.”
There’s definitely a confidence swagger among the team.
“We expect to do well,” said McCutchen. “We expect to play well and things won’t be a surprise to us because we’ve been there before, you know.”
“So we’re prepared for whatever is thrown our way this year, because we’ve gone through it,” said second baseman Neil Walker.