Big Lead Sports Bar



The Pirates' pursuit of mediocrity continued this weekend, and the results were predictable: lose one, win one, lose one. So goes the yo-yo season of a team that sits at 12-12 in early May, although in all fairness, that's a much better record than anyone could've projected at this point.

On Sunday, the Pirates once again left their bats in their equipment bags, netting only four singles in a 5-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. It was the third shutout of the Buccos this week, which coincides with the team losing five of their last six.

This one was all about Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who struck out nine in eight innings of work. He was so good, in fact, that a Pirate never got beyond first base. Which usually makes scoring runs quite difficult.

Unfortunately, Jeff Karstens followed his usual formula of too many pitches, too many walks, and too many home runs in his five innings of work, as he got tagged with the loss. Although it's worth mentioning that the Pittsburgh bullpen allowed a mere one hit in four innings of work.

The non-existent Pirate offense was "led" by Andy LaRoche and his two singles. After a slow start (nothing unfamiliar for players named LaRoche), he's raised his average to a more-acceptable .250. Other than that, the lineup card was filled with a number of 0-fors.

The Bucs are back at it on Monday as they start a two-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers, who have beaten the Pirates 15 times in a row. I used to think the Nuttings owned the Pirates, but apparently, it's the Brewers.

Paul Maholm (3-0, 3.09) and Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 2.86) are your pitchers. PNC Park is your ballpark. The Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals game is your attention's competition. And don't forget, Gallardo was the guy that shutout the Pirates on two hits last week, hitting a home run for the game's only scoring in the process. So the offensively-challenged may be hard-up for production once again.

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