12/19/2011 4:04 PM ET
Hanrahan: Pirates on the upswing
Pittsburgh closer excited about team's good young core
The last time the Pirates had three players on the All-Star team Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla were two of them. There have been times the Pirates have had to have an All-Star. This year, we had three guys who went to the game and were all deserving. It definitely feels good for the organization.
It was great to be named an All-Star, but it was all the better than I got to share the experience with my teammates, Andrew McCutchen and Kevin Correia. Spending time with them was the best part.
Kevin has been that guy we have been looking for in Pittsburgh for a number of years. He comes in, day in and day out, and goes out there and pitches a lot of innings. He reached double digits in wins quickly, and he has stabilized our starting rotation. He came in early on and set the tone that it is important to go deep into games. He is about being a competitor and being aggressive. That has carried over to other guys.
With Andrew, you are talking about one of the most exciting guys in the game of baseball right now. He's got the speed, a good arm, he runs everything down in the outfield, he can change the course of a game with one swing of the bat. He has some of the fastest hands I have ever seen, and he can steal a lot of bases. He is Superman, in my opinion, and fans should watch our games to see McCutchen.
It was disappointing to me at first in that both of them were not named to the team sooner than they were, but everyone with the Pirates knew they both belonged in the game and that they would get there somehow, someway. There weren't too many other guys who had the first-half numbers that they had. We can thank our teammates. They put us, especially myself and Kevin, in a good position.
On a personal level, making the All-Star team again is a goal. I would love to go back and get that experience again. It was the ultimate stage. It was the only thing going on in sports that day. Hopefully, it is not the only one for me.
Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan collected 40 saves, the sixth most in the Majors this year. He entered 2011 with 25 total saves from 2007-10 for both Pittsburgh and Washington.