Big Lead Sports Bar



Ryan Doumit was the hero on Sunday with a two-out, 10th-inning home run off of Takashi Saito, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a dramatic 3-2 victory over the hated Atlanta Braves at PNC Park. It was Doumit's third hit of the day, fourth homer of the season, and first career "walk-off" dinger.

The offensively-challenged Buccos only scored five runs this weekend, which was apparently still good enough for one win in three tries against Atlanta. Prior to Sunday's game, the red-hot Braves had won 10 of their past 12 contests.

As of this writing, the 19-25 Pirates hold the 23rd-best record in MLB despite a mind-blowing run differential of -109. For those of you scoring at home, the next closest is Houston at -73...four games worse than the Pirates at 15-29.

In addition to Doumit's noteworthy performance, the Pirates offense also got two hits from 2B Aki Iwamura, who was battling a little 0-for-34 slump - the longest Pirate hitless streak since Mark Smith went 0-for-38 between 1997 and 1998.  Among non-struggling Bucs, Andrew McCutchen tripled and reached base three times for Pittsburgh.

On the mound, Zach Duke allowed a mere one unearned run over seven innings, just days after shutting down the Phillies for one run on Tuesday night (although it's worth noting that Jason Heyward sat out on Sunday). In the pen, Evan Meek blew his third save of the season in the eighth inning, allowing a solo shot to former Pirate Eric Hinske, his second in as many days. Brendan Donnelly and Octavio Dotel each threw an inning of hitless relief, with Dotel picking up his second win in the process.

The Bucs will play a game a day for the next 10 days, with four in a row coming up at Cincinnati. Brian Burress (4.91, 2-1) and Aaron Harang (6.02, 2-5) take the hill tomorrow night at 7:10.

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The Mad Bubbler said...

"The hated Atlanta Braves"? Who the hell hates them? If you're talking about losing to them 18 years ago, wow that's kinda sad. The Pirates don't have any real rivals, they're just the rest of MLB's farm club / whipping post.

Adam said...


The Mad Bubbler said...

Hey it's Adam, the guy who said Bob Nutting was a better owner than Mario Lemieux!

Adam said...

I appreciate you putting words in my mouth.

All I've ever said is that I'm skeptical of just how good an ownership group the Burkle/Lemieux team is. That's all. I've said nothing of Nutting vs. Lemieux, but simply that before Sid showed up, the Pens sucked pretty damn hard and without him, I doubt Lemieux would have had the support to keep the team in Pittsburgh.

That, and because of the NHL salary cap, I've seen nothing to suggest that Lemieux/Burkle would come in and be the big spenders Yinzr Nation seems to think they'd be with the Pirates.

I'm not trying to bash the Pens, or Lemieux like the guy from I'm just suggesting that the success the Pens have had lately has far more to do with #87 than anything else by far. People take him for granted, and allow him to make everyone around him look better than they really are, Lemieux included.

Excuse me for not getting hot for Mario, I just don't think what's happened with the Pens in the last 5 years translates to success in Major League Baseball.

BURGH08 said...

If Burkle didn't give Mario 20 million dollars a decade ago, then the Penguins wouldn't have been in Pittsburgh long enough to have drafted Crosby. That connection kept the team in the city to begin with, so your opinion is flawed from the start.

Burkle is a billionaire. If he is in a position of ownership with a MLB team, he has deeper pockets than the Nuttings, who cried poor in a P-G article earlier this year for 'only' making 11 million in profits the last two years (which is their own statements, but not proven).

If nothing else, read this quote from a P/G article that came out about a week ago:

"Despite financial risks, he urged team executives in 2008 to spend to the salary cap ahead of their own five-year plan, if it gave the franchise a shot at the Stanley Cup."

Get back to me when you hear a Nutting attempt that.

Read more:

Adam said...

The Penguins payroll is $59 million. Pardon me if I'm confusing Burkle and The Boss.

Granted (as I said above) there's a salary cap in hockey that prohibits them from going further, but there's a difference between Burkle telling management to spend up to a level that would still put them in the bottom third of MLB and going out and competing with the Chicago Cubs.

BURGH08 said...

If you read the link I posted, you would see that they offered the Nuttings "more than $25 million higher than the baseball team's estimated value."

This while still having the NHL payroll you speak of. He is also one of the richest people on the planet with a net worth of 2.3 billion.

Nah, no way this guy would up the payroll to competitive levels.

Oh, by the way, that 59 million dollar payroll you speak of Burkle doesn't have to exceed? The Pirates have never exceeded it (closest was 57 million in PNC's first season).

Fish. Barrel.

Adam said...

$25 million is 8.6% of Forbes' estimate of $289 million.

Since PNC Park opened, the value of the team has increased by $78 million, or 36.9% of the 2001 value of $211 million.

I wouldn't sell either.

I also don't know how you can claim to know what "competitive levels" of spending are when the Pirates are already better than two teams who far out-spend them without Tabata, Alvarez, Lincoln, etc. even in place yet.

Anonymous said...

not sure if I should be discouraged or optimistic about this Braves series. Pittsburgh's starting pitchers gave them a chance Saturday and Sunday, if they hadn't stranded 11 and 14 those games would not have been close. And even Friday's blow out, luck had a lot to do with "some" of the Braves hits and runs and the lack of production from the Pirates... I guess for now I'll just say the glass is half.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

Bottom line is that the pirates don't have anyone worth paying yet. 'Cutch & Garrett need to prove that they're not one year wonders ('cutch is doing just that so far!). And NO ONE else (Duke looks to be stepping up tho) has played near well enough yet. If duke/'cutch finish out the year strong (season is only about 1/4 over), then i hope/believe they'll get raises/extensions this offseason.

That's my belief/hope: That the pirates will spend as this batch of talent deserves it.

Hate hate hate, say something about 17 yrs, but the current bucs front office has only had control for 2 MLB drafts. And i don't think anyone is upset with drafting Pedro Alvarez or with the production of Tony Sanchez. Finally having some good/decent drafts coupled with prospects returned for j. wilson, f. sanchez, n. mcclouth, j. bay, x. nady, etc... i believe in a few yrs (when the time is right) the pirates will increase payroll (i.e. - raises for homegrown talent) and compete. Once they reach this level, they will have to maintain by having good drafts. Then maybe we can erase the painful memories of Sid Bream & the hated braves!

BURGH08 said...


Nate said...

Burkle is the same guy that cut Jagr to free agency because he didn't want to pay him. Why would he pay boatloads of money for the Pirates?

The point of any business - sports included - is to get to the point where you're making enough money that you don't have to put your own money into the business. The business is profitable enough to take care of all its expenses every year, and still turn a profit for the ownership. Burkle didn't get to be one of the richest men in the world by continually sinking his own money into his investments.

BURGH08 said...

"Since PNC Park opened, the value of the team has increased by $78 million, or 36.9% of the 2001 value of $211 million.

I wouldn't sell either."


Especially if you were making profits and not putting them back in the club.

"I also don't know how you can claim to know what "competitive levels" of spending are when the Pirates are already better than two teams who far out-spend them without Tabata, Alvarez, Lincoln, etc. even in place yet."

Of course you don't know. What else is new?

Interesting you cite being into 'sabermetrics' and frowning on a guy like Carlos Pena, yet mentioning Alvarez, who hits @ .250and barely above the Mendoza line against lefties.

Nate: Jagr more than Crosby did nearly a decade ago when he signed (and never lived up to expectations in Washington). Burkle is a smart businessman but also is competitive.

If nothing else, Nutting is smart because he continues to keep enough of the flock together of a fan base to buy what he is selling, so I give him credit for keeping the wool pulled over their eyes.

It's true you don't become rich by sinking your money, but when you have multiple businesses that MAKE money, you can.

That's where the difference lies.

Adam said...

Alvarez is in the minor leagues dude.

BURGH08 said...


Adam said...

No YOU'RE clueless. Yes, he profiles like Pena (High Power/High K) but you can't say he's gonna be the feat or famine guy Pena is now to he's at least made it to the big leages.

BURGH08 said...

So he 'profiles' like Pena in a lower class of professional baseball (which you scoff at).

Though when the talent is better he is automatically going to hit left handed pitching and not strike out as much, eh?

I think we have the new editor of Pirates Report in the making.