Big Lead Sports Bar

6/25/2010

Rangers Walk Off with Sweep of Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost their third in a row, this one in heartbreaking fashion, to the Texas Rangers last night by a 6-5 final.

That's 14 road losses in a row and 15 losses in their last 17 games for the Battlin' Bucs, who are now 25-47 and dead last in the NL Central, 15 games back of St. Louis. That's a .347 winning percentage, which puts them on pace for 56 wins in a 162-game season. Only the Baltimore Orioles, at 20-52/.278, are worse.

Jeff Karstens, who apparently is the Pirates' new ace, kept the Rangers in check for the better part of the night, giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. But in the end, it was Vladimir Guerrero's RBI single off the freshly-recalled Steven Jackson with two outs in the ninth that would do the Pirates in, giving the Rangers a three-game sweep of the series.

The Pirates displayed some internal strife during the sixth inning, when coach Gary Varsho, Lastings Milledge, and Bobby Crosby got into a heated discussion over a botched hit-and-run - Milledge was thrown out at second and Crosby didn't swing. Varsho and Milledge had to eventually be separated, and Milledge said something to Crosby as they took the field in the next inning. 

The sad part is that the Bucs actually hit the ball well, with 14 hits on the night. Five players in the lineup had multiple hits, while Jose Tabata and Garrett Jones had three each. Pedro Alvarez added a double and 2 RBI, and Crosby continued his hot week with two hits. On the down side, four players struck out multiple times, and four players left three or more runners on base. So to say the Pirates blew a few opportunities would be a fair statement.

The Bucs try to set their problems aside and get back on the right track tonight in Oakland, as Brad Lincoln (0-1, 6.50) takes on Ben Sheets (2-7, 4.95) at 10:07 Eastern.The A's have lost seven of eight and have scored only 20 runs in those games, so this might be an interesting matchup.

A few Pirate notes:

-P Daniel Moskos and OF Alex Presley were both promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis yesterday after standout 2010 seasons so far with Double-A Altoona. 

Moskos, the Curve's closer, has 17 saves and 30 strikeouts in 31 innings, while allowing just five earned runs and nine walks. His fastball has been closed as high as 96 mph. 

Presley was leading the Eastern League with a .350 batting average and seven triples through 67 games, with 13 doubles, six homers and 47 RBIs to boot. Prior to this season, Presley spent two seasons at the high-A level.

-On Tuesday, P Chris Jakubauskas pitched in his first game since being struck on the head by a line drive in late April. He walked one and struck out five in three innings of work for the GCL Pirates, allowing four earned runs and six hits.

-Aki Iwamura will officially report to Indianapolis today and split time playing 2B and 3B, according to Neal Huntington.

-Daniel McCutchen will start for the Pirates on Saturday vs. the A's, but that will not be official until after tonight's game, allowing the Bucs to use an 8-man bullpen. In three starts with the Bucs earlier this season, McCutchen allowed 18 earned runs on 19 hits in 12 innings. At Indy, he was 4-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 games. 

-Peter Gammons appeared with Seibel and Starkey on Thursday and named Buck Showalter and Eric Wedge as managerial candidates for the Pirates. He also weighed in on the team's recent PR nightmares and the debate over Stephen Strasburg and the All-Star Game.

12 comments:

Steve said...

Hmmm, Milledge's base running history makes me think he was probably in the wrong, especially if Varsho wasn't taking his side.

Looks like Steven Jackson is already a perfect fit.

So much for Vlad not being a key aquisition for that team being a broken down glorified DH and all. Can't build a winning team with players like that.

I'm picturing a double digit scoring explosion for the A's with the cure-all Pirates and their putrid pitching corps coming to town.

I guess Gammon's -- like everyone else -- didn't get the memo that Russell isn't going anywhere.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

According to Milledge, though, nobody sees anything wrong with his baserunning so he's fine.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with the Pirates as a whole. They are on the right track to turning this whole thing around.

They have a great GM in place who always makes the right moves and brings in major upgrades without giving up anything in return. There is also a great manager there who really knows how to organize a lineup, get into his players heads, teach accountability, and give the team a chance to win every night.

On top of both of those facts is that our owners are absolutely positively 100% without a shadow of a doubt going to open their wallets in 6 years and sign these young guns. I know they are going to because I have no proof they won't do it. They have never done anything in their history to suggest they would hastily trade MLB players for prospects just to save money an already low payroll, right?

Plus, they already said they would. I mean, it's not like these guys have ever lied before or crowned a guy a "cornerstone of the franchise" only to trade him for Nuke LaLoosh 2 months later. They would have to insane and incompetent to try anything like that!

Steve said...

Burress - When you put it like that, how could anyone not be seriously excited about this team? You've convincd me and I think it's only bad luck and the small market thing that is keeping this team down.

Corey said...

Burress - what steve said....i mean, i've never heard it put that way. Now i see the light!!!!

Steve said...

Corey - I see you've been sleeping next to pod the Pirates mailed to you too. Welcome aboard! We accept you! One of us, One of us, gooble gobble, gooble gobble!

Chad said...

I heard the Gammons interview. Peter Gammons did not name anyone as a candidate for Pirates manager. He never even implied Russell was in trouble. He was asked hypothetically by Seibel and Starky if Buck Showalter would consider managing the Pirates and Gammons said yes he thought he would. He then said he also thought a guy like Eric Wedge would as well. Then the next thing I know the Fan is running their sports update and making it sound as if the Pirates are considering a manager change. I’ve never heard a radio station that blatantly twists the words of a person they interviewed.

Adam said...

Leave it to you MH folks to paint it all in black and white, and polarize the discussion. You guys are champs.

Steve said...

How does Gammons know if Showalter or Wedge would be interested in managing the Pirates? Does he have proof of their admittance to a mental institution?

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

@Adam,

Rather than view it all through rose colored glasses?

Steve said...

Black and white, or black and gold, I think most eveyone can agree this team sucks balls.

Steve said...

...and so does my typing.

Adam said...

The folks, such as yourself, who fail to recognize Huntington's accomplishments are just as bad as the ones who make excuses for every last one of his realistically indefensible blunders.

The discussion is so polarized it's ridiculous.

That's probably why this board gets so little participation relative to the readership's size.