Big Lead Sports Bar



The Pittsburgh Pirates finally "lost" close, falling to the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 last night at PNC. Somehow, this qualifies as a positive, given that 15 of the Bucs' 23 losses this season have come by five runs or more. But to me, they all count the same. Just like a win is a win, a loss is a loss.

This particular "L" falls under the "blown leads" category, as the Bucs went up 3-0 in the first on a two-run triple by Steve Pearce and an RBI double by Andy LaRoche. But the Pirates would squander later opportunities with baserunning that would make Little Leaguers blush, a hallmark of any John Russell-coached team.

Paul Maholm allowed four hits, four runs, and three walks in his seven innings of work, whiffing seven Brewers. He absorbed the loss, dropping his record to 3-4 on the year. Milwaukee pitcher Chris Narveson surrendered seven hits and three runs to Bucco batters, upping his mark to 4-1.

The game had a 25-minute delay in the top of the second after ump John Hirschbeck was plunked with a Narveson pitch that Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun failed to catch. Hirschbeck left the game with concussion-like symptoms, and it continued with a three-man crew. Not to blame the delay, but Maholm was coincidentally touched for two runs in that frame after going 1-2-3 through the Brew Crew in the first.

The Pirates certainly had their chances to pull this one out, especially with the Brewers using a new closer (Carlos Villaneuva) in place of the looking-like-he's-totally-finished Trevor Hoffman, who was 5-for-10 in save opportunities this year.  But with the tying run on and one out in the ninth, Delwyn Young grounded into a double play, ending the game and ending any opportunity to gain the nickname, "Mr. Clutch".

Tonight, the Atlanta Braves come into town, and the pitching matchup pits Ross Ohlendorf (0-1, 3.00) against Tim Hudson (4-1, 2.41). Gametime is set for 7:05 at PNC, but you might want to arrive early and get a glimpse of Jason Heyward in BP.

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Anonymous said...

What the hell happened in the bottom of the 5th? I only kept up on the ESPN Gamecast so I couldn't see what actually happened. One out and a runner on second, and they couldn't move him around??? Was it poor coaching, or poor base running? Either way it reads like a couple of little league errors...

Unknown said...

The Pirates coaches don't believe in moving runners. I would bet that we are at the bottom of MLB in sac bunts and sac flies. They refuse to play small ball - I can't remember the last time I watched a Pirates pitcher make an honest attempt at squaring a bunt. Why bunt or hit a sac fly when you can take that 1 in 50 chance Iwamura gets a hit.

Chad said...

I don't care if they are the worst major leaguers ever. They are still in the major leagues and have been playing baseball their whole lives. How do these guys not know how to run the bases. My dad taught me this stuff when I was 5 and in T-ball.

Anonymous said...

Let's not exaggerate, Iwamura is only 1 for 28 right now, and JR's favorite pinch hitter... "he'll come around" (sarcasm off)

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Milledge led off with a double. I assumed Crosby would bunt being down by 1. But he grounded back to the pitcher and Milledge actually did something smart and stayed in a rundown long enough to let Crosby move to 2nd.

Then Crosby went on contact and got in a rundown himself on what would have been an infield single for Cutch.

The Great Russell probably would have wanted a bunt from Crosby, but I think Varsho forgot to wake him up before the inning.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

The lack of basic fundamentals is astounding! Even for people who only played ball through high school, the kind of stuff that they consistenly mess up should be engrained in your head and never happen. Blame Russell if you want (he's turrrible too), but some of these mistakes go beyond the coach's responsibility (unless you're talking about the current players little league/mighty mite's coaches).

That being said, 18-23 about a quarter of the way through the season is better than i'd really expected. The bullpen has been great, but the bats & starting pitching has ranged from bad to awful.

Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...

The Penguins ALSO lost by a score of Game 6 against Montreal. Looks to me like the Penguins are no better than the Pirates.


BurressWithButterflywings said...

the words "Penguins" and "Pirates" both start with the same letter, so clearly they are the same thing!

Koz said...


LOL. great username too