Big Lead Sports Bar




Lost in a sea of championship-level hockey and Steeler draft picks with awe-inspiring YouTube clips, the declining play of the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates has greatly slid underneath the radar of a preoccupied Pittsburgh fan base.

On Sunday, the Pirates had a chance to reverse their fortunes, in the third of a three-game set with the New York Mets. Unfortunately, the status quo of nausea-inducing baseball remained the same.

The Buccos dropped this one by an 8-4 count, their eighth loss in a row and 12th in the past 13 games, putting them a mere 1.5 behind Cleveland for the worst record in all of Major League Baseball. It's gotten so bad that 1-5 Ian Snell was reduced to accusing the Mets of stealing signs on Sunday. Ugh.

While the Pirates were at least able to make contact at the plate on Sunday with 11 hits, they stranded 11 runners. Timely hitting, something the Pirates have been traditionally reluctant to embrace, is still not an asset of the team's offense. And SS Brian Bixler, once hysterically touted as the eventual long-term replacement for Jack Wilson, was a perfect 3-for-3: three at-bats, three strikeouts, and an error to boot (no pun intended). Over the course of his tenure as Wilson's replacement, Bixler's batted .200 with 15 strikeouts in 22 ABs. In the words of Bart Simpson, "Ay caramba."

The bullpen was equally ineffective, as the struggling John Grabow allowed three hits and four earned runs in just an inning of work, raising his ERA to 6.14 in the process. The reliever has surrendered at least one run in six consecutive outings, dating back to April 27 against Milwaukee.

Conversely, the sign-stealing Mets cruised to victory behind a balanced, Latin-flavored offensive attack led by Luis Castillo, Omir Santos, and Carlos Beltran, who each drove in two runs. Fossilized starting pitcher Livan Hernandez lowered his ERA to 5.08 by allowing two runs over his six innings of work. Basically, it was the perfect way to end a series that featured a team on a seven-game winning streak facing a team on an eight-game losing skid.

After a day off on Monday, the 12-19 Pirates will try to stop the bleeding on Tuesday against first-place St. Louis. Your pitching matchup: Todd Wellemeyer (4.75, 3-2) against Zach Duke (2.79, 3-3). If that's not compelling enough for you, there's always the big Yanni concert as an alternative.

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Real McCoy said...

If a MLB team falls in the woods and nnobdy hears them, does it still make a sound?

Steve said...

The Pirates are currently talking to Baba Booey about signing with the team.

They are offering him a Matt Morris contract yet Gary says playing for the Pirates for any amount of money would be more embarrasing than his first pitch Sunday.

Unknown said...

hate to say i told you so, but...

Steve said...

Isn't saying they "stink again" misleading?

That statement would lead one to believe:

A. They once didn't stink, or had a period longer than the life of a poop fly of "non-stinking"

B. They were supposed to not stink this year, or maybe-possibly-hopfully in the year 2098.

Both of those answers are wrong, as they have stunk for sooooo long it's easier to just round it off to forever and they'll never, ever be a non-stinking team in the near or far future.

Oh, did I forget to say never, ever?

So please, for future reference, just say they "stink". Thank You.