Big Lead Sports Bar



We're a full 12 games into the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates campaign, and I must say, I have no idea how this story will end. Following back-to-back shutouts against Atlanta in which they outscored their former NLCS foils by a combined count of 13-0, the Pittsburgh Baseball Club came crashing back down to earth on Sunday with an 11-1 drubbing at the hands of the Braves. Even more befuddling was the fact that the Braves, losers of five straight, hadn't scored in 22 innings and the Pirates hadn't allowed a run in 21 innings entering the game.

Not only did the Pirates coming back to reality on Sunday, but so did pitcher Zach Duke, who had an ERA of just 0.95 entering the contest. Six innings, 12 hits, and six runs later, and that statistic would jump two full points, to 2.95. The bullpen was equally as bad, surrendering five runs in the last three innings. And the offense was largely invisible, with the 3-4-5 hitters a combined 0-for-11, doing their best to boost their personal LOB statistics.

As is the case with many of this year's Pirate games, there's good news and bad news. And since we've pretty much hashed out the bad news, the good news is that Nyjer Morgan and Freddy Sanchez continue to hit at the top of the order, as they both sport batting averages in the .340s. Of course, that's of little help if the guys behind them can't seal the deal, as was the case on Sunday.

The Pittsburgh Thunderbolts (get it...roller coasters!) resume play Monday night against the scorching-hot, 11-1 Florida Marlins, who largely toil in obscurity while other, more publicized teams with bloated payrolls get press like this after a nationally-televised Saturday embarrassment:

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