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Well, so much for my grand plan that Brad Lincoln starting at PNC Park might sell some tickets. But the paid attendance of only 12,000 and change was only one of the problems faced by the Pirates on Tuesday night, as they lost for the ninth consecutive game, this time by a 6-4 count to the Chicago White Sox.

Lincoln went six innings, allowing six hits, five earned runs, three walks, and two hit batters, while exactly maintaining his lofty 7.50 ERA (which is still better than Charlie Morton's, by the way) and picking up the first loss of his MLB career.

Spotted a rare 2-0 first inning lead, Lincoln was ultimately done in by two Sox, namely Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez, who combined for four hits and four of the five RBI given up by the rookie pitcher. On two occasions, Lincoln walked the leadoff batter and allowed them to score, something that he's going to have to clean up in the future. But I can't be too tough on the guy, as I feel he's clearly got the talent and is a work in progress.

The top-heavy Pirate offense got three hits and three steals from Andrew McCutchen, two hits from Neil Walker and Ryan Doumit, and two RBI from Garrett Jones, but the timeliness just wasn't there, and once again, nor was the quantity. This is not a team that's built for comebacks, which they were incapable of from the sixth inning on, ultimately struggling against hard-throwing Sox closer Bobby Jenks to end the game.
Tuesday was also the PNC Park debut of Jose Tabata, who was 0-for-4 with a walk while batting in his usual leadoff spot. As for Pedro Alvarez, he has yet to materialize in a Pirate uniform, as he is still patiently marinating in Indianapolis.

Wait...breaking news....PEDRO IS MAKING HIS DEBUT ON WEDNESDAY! That means someone has to go. Well, this day's going to get a lot more interesting.

And speaking of rumors, Fox is saying that the Bucco brass is discussing the immediate future of John Russell, which I am very skeptical of. For one, I can't see the Nuttings paying two managers at once. They would use a coupon to get 50 cents off a manager's salary if such a thing existed. And what's the point of firing Russell now? Unless the new manager is bringing A-Rod and Albert Pujols with him, the Pirates are still going to struggle mightily to win games, no matter who is filling out the lineup card.

For what it's worth, Fox lists "long-term" replacement candidates as former Indians manager Eric Wedge (who worked with Neal Huntington in Cleveland) and St. Louis bench coach Jose Oquendo, and "interim candidates" as bench coach Gary Varsho, Triple-A manager Frank Kremblas, and Double-A manager Matt Walbeck. I'm sure they'll make all the difference.

The Pirates, now 23-41 and the baseball equivalent of a leaky boat that's taking on water fast, meet up with the White Sox again on Wednesday night at PNC. Come early enough and you just might witness Dejuan Blair throwing out the first pitch.

Alvarez called up by Pirates [PG]

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SantoGold said...

Pedro is coming to Pittsburgh??? Quick somebody get a live chicken to sacrifice and.....oh wait......its not THAT Pedro.

Nate said...

Lincoln struggled mightily in his first few starts at AAA, and Alvarez struggled in his first month. If they don't immediately light the world on fire, it's kind of to be expected. Most rookies don't hit the ground running like Cutch (and apparently Tabata) did.

Alvarez is going to be a very exciting player for the Pirates, but it's taken him about a month to adjust to each level. Just be patient with him, and the offense will come.

Lincoln...meh. I doubt he'll be more than a solid #3 starter, but he should do better than he has thus far.

Steve said...

What does Fox now about anything let alone the Pirates? They throw that out there in a knee-jerk kinda way because a 9-game losing streak is something that by default would get internal discussions about the manager's future started with any team and 99% of the time they'd be right, but they forgot one thing...this is the Pirates...a 9-game losing streak is par for the course every season, no matter who's managing. They must have got this club confused with one of the other 29 teams out there.

When Russell gets fired it will simply be to get a new face in there and give fans and players something fresh to focus on, maybe sell a few more tickets. It won't be because of his, or the team’s performance. That would be like firing an employee for not getting his PowerPoint presentation done while not giving him a computer.

Wait a minute...I forgot and almost pulled a Fox, this is the Pirates, Duh!

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Coach Tomlin was in attendace last night as well. Right behind the plate.

Also, did anybody else happen to catch Greg Brown defending Ronny Cedeno for not running out a grounder because Vizquel has 10 career Gold Gloves?

That made my night.

Steve said...

I think it should be mandatory for teams in all sports, at every level to send their coaches, managers, GM's and even players to Pirates games. Kinda like the sports version of Scared Straight. Pay attention everyone and straighten up, or this can be you.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

@ BwBFW - Hahaha, yeah that was hilarious! And they kept calling him "future Hall of Famer" Omar Vizquel. I mean, he's had a great career (& long), but is he really a hall of fame player? I'm not sold, but i don't get a vote.

Why bring Pedro up today & NOT yesterday? I don't get it. Don't want to infringe on Lincoln & Tabata's HOME debuts? BS! Weren't planning to bring him up this soon, but they're caving to fan outcry? Disappointing. What possible reason could they have to bring him up for game 2 of a 6 game homestand that is not disappointing/embarrassing?

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I don't know what goes on in their heads over there on the North "Shore", but I suspect that they were hoping to get a bigger draw last night for Lincoln's home debut, then piggyback the second coming's inception onto that?

That is just a thought.

@Pedro Alvarez: Welcome To Hell!

okel dokel said...

Using Greg Brown's logic they should just forfeit the game the next time they face a Cy Young award winner.

Anonymous said...

Man today just gets better and better. Not only is Pedro on his way, Mike Yeo is on his way out of town.

Steve said...

Finally an answer to the Penguins PP problems?