Thursday, May 31, 2007

A week's worth of stars and dogs

Okay, I said I wouldn't slack. But I'm working my tail off and I now manage a baseball team for my boss in a summer league where I'm from. Plus I took a vacation to Ocean City last weekend, so give me a break. Here's the updated list of stars and dogs.

I'm glad to see that the Pirates are still hovering around the .500 mark and an actual first-place spot in the division standings.

5-3 loss to the Cards:
1 dog - Ian Snell (Three home runs. Not a good start.)
2 dogs - Matt Capps (Gives the Bucs' one run in the eighth right back.)
3 dogs - Ryan Doumit (0-for-4 with four left one base.)

3-1 loss to the Cards:
Three guys will split the six total dogs. The 5-6-7 hitters did nothing.
A combined 0-for-10 for Bay, Nady, Paulino. Two dogs each.

10-4 win against the Reds:
1 star - Paul Maholm (A decent start for once.)
2 stars - Xavier Nady (2-for-5, with a home run.)
3 stars - Jason Bay (2-for-3, with a home run.)

9-5 win against the Reds:
1 star - Xavier Nady (2-for-5, with 3 RBIs.)
2 stars - Adam LaRoche (2-for-4, with 2 RBIs.)
3 stars - Jason Bay (3-for-4, with 3 RBIs.)

14-10 win against the Reds:
1 star - Zach Duke (Not a great game, but gets a win.)
2 stars - Jason Bay (3-for-5, with 3 RBIs and a home run.)
3 stars - Freddy Sanchez (2-for-3, with 4 RBIs.)

4-0 loss to the Reds:
1 dog - Ian Snell (Couldn't outduel Kyle Lohse?)
2 dogs - Chris Duffy (0-for-4 in that two hole. Why's he there?)
3 dogs - Jose Bautista (Left two on in scoring position with two outs.)

4-1 win against the Padres:
1 star - Salomon Torres (12th save.)
2 stars - Jason Bay (THE hottest hitter that week.)
3 stars - Tom Gorzelanny (Another solid start.)

9-0 loss to the Padres:
1 dog - Jonah Bayliss (He's got to go.)
2 dogs - Paul Maholm (Ugh.)
3 dogs - Adam LaRoche (0-for-4 with three Ks.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who was that? -- Bucs Win Opener

Recap -- Box Score
Was that the 2007 Pirates out there Tuesday night?

No, really, THE 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates?

With clutch hitting, solid fielding, a great effort from the SP and a door shutting bullpen?


Tommy Gunn went 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 7 hits, walking 3 and striking out 4.

Jason Bay went 2-for-4 with his 8th homerun. Adam LaRoche had three hits and an RBI.

Fast Freddy and X had the other Pirate RBI's.

Matt Capps, John Grabow andKing Salomon worked scorelessly through the 8th and 9th.

Paul Maholm vs. Chris Young, Wednesday Night, 7:05pm

Bucs Get Healthy -- Win Series

You could have dreamed up a scenario for how the series against the Reds could go.
Your dream couldn't have been much different than the way it actually played out.

3 wins. One loss.

An offensive barrage. A solid outing from the struggling Maholm. An improvement from Zach Duke. Never mind the shutout in game 4 and the struggling bullpen. I won't bring it up if you don't.

5.5 games back. Only six games under. Poised for a run?

Housekeeping Time...

-Jason Bay was named NL Player of the week...(he was also player of the week on my NL Only Fantasy Keeper team)
-Hey Brian Rogers, see you later. Welcome to the majors Josh Sharpless!
-Ryan Doumit should return to the lineup full time on Wednesday against Chris Young
-Some idiot wastes the Pirates mailbag writers' time asking if Adam LaRoche is a fixture here

Friday, May 25, 2007

Break Out -- Bucs Win Opener

Box Score -- Recap

It took some at-bats against David Weathers to get it going, but the offense finally found it's groove Friday night in Cincy. The Pirates managed more hits in two innings against the Reds bullpen then they did against Aaron Harang over his eight strong innings.

It got ugly quickly for Weathers after he finished the ninth unscathed.
In the tenth, here's how it went down.

- J. Wilson singled to left
- N. McLouth hit for J. Bayliss
- N. McLouth reached on fielder's choice, J. Wilson to second
- J. Bautista singled to left, J. Wilson to third, N. McLouth to second
- C. Duffy hit sacrifice fly to right, J. Wilson scored, N. McLouth to third
- F. Sanchez ground rule double to deep center, N. McLouth scored, J. Bautista to third
- A. LaRoche intentionally walked
- J. Bay hit by pitch, J. Bautista scored, F. Sanchez to third, A. LaRoche to second

Weathers hit the showers. His ERA before the game was 2.08
After the game, it was 4.30. Ouch.
Brad "Poached" Salmon came in and allowed a three-run double to Paulino and an RBI single by Xavier Nady. King Salomon did not look sharp at all allowing two meaningless runs in the bottom of the ninth, but at least we aren't relying on Mike Gonzo to close in 2007.

Paul Maholm went seven innings allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks with 6 strikeouts.
Jason Bay was 2-for-3 with his 6th homerun.
Nady hit his 6th homerun as well to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Looking forward -- Bucs Swept

I'll be honest, I think the Steelers will be rebuilding this year.
I don't think it will be a playoff year. That is my first thought.
It's just going to be a big transition year and I see them as a possible 9-7 team.

The Penguins, however, this season is going to be something special.
They get most of their guns back, hopefully resigning Roberts and Recchi.
They should add Letang from Juniors.
They could sign Paul Kariya, Brandon Shanahan, or Kimmo Timonen.

They could easily be one of the top 3 teams in the East. It could be a cup year.
Training camp can not come soon enough, right?

What's that? This is a Pirates blog? Oh.


They aren't very good.
They got swept today.
They are eight games under .500
Their number 2 got hurt today
None of their players can hit
They are afraid to promote their top prospects
They are afraid to do anything different.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bucs stars

I'm getting bad at this, and I promise to keep up. Work and school have been killing me. As are the Buccos. You know things are bad when Matt starts puking and using the same image he's used once before for a recap.

That being said, let me at least update the site a little in terms of records, stats, dogs and stars.

Bucs 7-2 over Marlins:
1 star - Jason Bay (Scored two of the runs.)
2 stars - Ronny Paulino (1-for-3 with 3 RBIs.)
3 stars - Shawn Chacon (Saved Armas big time.)

Bucs 11-5 over the Dbacks:
1 star - Ian Snell (Not his best, but another win.)
2 stars - Xavier Nady (2-for-4, 3 RBIs.)
3 stars - Adam LaRoche (This is just long overdue.)

Bucs 9-8 loss to Dbacks:
1 dog - Marty McLeary (.1 innings, 1 run. Blown save.)
2 dogs - John Grabow (Four runs in .2 innings. Wow.)
3 dogs - Matt Capps (2 runs in 1 inning for the loss. Bad day for the pen.)

Bucs 5-2 loss to Dbacks:
1 dog - Freddy Sanchez (0-for-4. Set no tables.)
2 dogs - Adam LaRoche (0-for-4. Back to the grind.)
3 dogs - Paul Maholm (One good start all year.)

Bucs 9-4 loss to Cards:
1 dog - Jason Bay (Eight left on base.)
2 dogs - Adam LaRoche (Still on the grind.)
3 dogs - Zach Duke (11 hits in 4.2 innings. Ugh.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where Can I Puke? -- Bucs Lose

It's amazing how much Tuesday night's game resembled the overall story of the 2007 Pirates.


1. The Pirates are among the bottom 4 teams in MLB in AVG and RBI's
(The Pirates had the bases loaded in the 1st inning with one out and got one run. The Pirates had the bases loaded in the 2nd inning with one out and got no runs. They had the bases loaded in the fourth with one out and got one run on zero hits. Overall, the Pirates managed nine hits and loaded the bases three separate times off Adam Wainwright and yet only managed two runs. Then there was the circus that was the eighth inning. The Pirates load the bases again, this time with nobody out. Jack Wilson pops out foul to the catcher. One out. Nate McLouth takes two fastballs for strikes and strikes out looking. Two outs. Bautista walks, one run in. Freddy reaches on an error, two runs in. Bay strikes out. If there are three guys that you would want up with the bases loaded, you would choose Bautista, Freddy and Bay. Freddy, who had three hits that didn't drive in any runs, couldn't muster a big hit when it mattered and Bay continued to show that if you threw him all off-speed, every pitch, he would hit about .198.)

2. Adam LaRoche continues on his way to Major League Bust of the Year
(LaRoche hit in the first inning with runners at 1st and 2nd and walked. He hit again in the 2nd with the bases loaded and struck out. Once again, in the fourth, LaRoche hit with the bases loaded and, again, he struck out.)

3. Zach Duke gave up 5 earned runs in 4.2 innings on ELEVEN HITS.
(Duke of course, led the league in hits allowed last year and is on pace to do it again this year. The Pirates continue to maintain that he has the most talent of any starter on the club, and when trade talks are rumored, he is consistently labeled "untouchable" despite unflattering major league numbers.)

4. The Pirates made two errors in the field and a few mental ones that won't show up.
(Albert Pujols out-hustled Jason Bay and got to third on a single to left, something that should never happen. You can blame Bautista, and rightfully so, but Bay didn't hustle and was caught flat footed by a hustling Pujols. Eckstein reaches on a bunt single when LaRoche and Chacon run into each other on the way to the bag.)

I heard/read in a few different places the idea of "remembering" Saturday night's game.
As in, remember it as the night the Pirates season went to crap.
As in, remember when the Pirates lost that game in New York to the Yankees on the bad call.
They were like 30-30 coming in, went 30-60 after that game. Sorta like that.
That idea is starting to look solid.

But what do I know? The Pirates could run off 5 wins in a row and turn this thing around.

Which side of the coin do you think is more likely?
--Note-- I will almost never complain about umpiring when I write but the work done behind the plate tonight was a joke. To think these guys are supposed to be professionals, it really makes you wonder sometimes. The calls certainly had nothing to do with the Pirates losing, and that is not what I am trying to imply, but there were some blatantly terrible strike/ball calls.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A No Good Weekend -- Bucs Lose Series

Alan and I were no good this weekend.

Neither were the Pirates.

Sorry for the lack of recaps. Neither of us had much access to a computer.
Besides, if I had to write a recap for Saturday nights game, I might have killed myself.


I didn't see a single minute of the game, and it wasn't until this morning that I got to read the recap. Wow. Six runs in one inning, and the Pirates LOSE. The always popular bullpen implosion and the offense didn't have enough juice to bring it home late in the game.

Sunday was more of the same for the over matched Pirate offense.
Big Unit vs. this offense = 10 strikeouts and Unit's first ever win at PNC Park.

Tracy continues to try and find the right lineup combo, today it featured Freddy leading off with Bautista batting 2nd, moving Bay up to third. No dice as far as more hits go.

Pirate fans should continue to worry about Maholm, who struggled again on Sunday. He is now 2-6, and frankly, just isn't throwing well. Right now the Pirates have three slots in the rotation in which they never know what they are going to get and it could get worse this week as they try and find a fifth starter.

It won't be Marty McLeary, despite Tracy saying his name was in the mix.

It is expected to be Shawn Chacon, but it could very well be Bullington or JVB. It almost certainly won't be Sean Burnett, at least I wouldn't think so. The only other possibility would be to move Chacon into the rotation and bring one of the young guys up to fill Chacon's spot in the bullpen. The Pirates could then use one of the pitchers in the manner that the Dodgers are currently using Chad Billingsley.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Win some, you lose some

...and this is how it goes for Buccos. It's beginning to look like we win with Snell and Gorzelanny and hope for the best with the rest. The latest sub-par pitching effort -- former first round draft pick Paul Maholm.

A lot of interesting tidbits in today's Pirates PG Notebook:

- Doumit has gained confidence. This only helps the Pirates. It took them long enough to promote him back up, and now with him hitting, he has got to stay in the lineup, whether it is catcher, first base or right field. Just keep him in there!

- Tracy praises Jose Castillo. Go figure. I still like Jose and think he has a ton of talent. But what does he think the Pirates could get for him in a trade? Seriously? What has he ever done besides underachieve on a consistent basis?

- I've been watching this one and waiting for a while now. Matt Peterson, who the Pirates got in the trade from the Mets for Kris Benson way back when, was just promoted to AAA Indianapolis. Peterson was a highly-regarded prospect with pretty good stuff, but then just lost it all. He hit batters, walked batters and allowed a ton of runs. This year he was moved to the closer's role in AA. He has seven saves and a 0.98 ERA there. Keep an eye out on him.

- Bryan Bullington won again. He is now 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA. Neil Walker went 4-for-4 and hit his fifth home run of the season. Andrew McCutchen went 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI but struck out in all three of his other at-bats. I'm beginning to worry a little with him.

Stars and Dogs of last two games:

1 Star - Freddy Sanchez (4-for-5 with 2 RBIs.)
2 Stars - Ronny Paulino (1-for-1, a HR and 3 walks. Getting better at the plate.)
3 Stars - Tom Gorzelanny (Very nice.)

1 Dog - Marty McLeary (Two runs in one inning. Get off this team.)
2 Dogs - Jonah Bayliss (Two runs and three walks in two innings. Ugh.)
3 Dogs - Paul Maholm (He's not that good. At all.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One Step Back -- Bucs Lose

The Pirates went back to their old ways Tuesday night.

And by old ways, I mean making a sub-par pitcher look great.

Tonight's Cy Young Winner, Sergio Mitre.
Mitre wasn't exactly dominating. He did allow eight hits and two runs in 7+.
But he also came in 0-2 this year with a career 5.49 ERA.

Safe to say he picked up his first win of the season and the Bucs two-game win streak ended right there, at two games.

Offensively, Jose Castillo continued his audition to get out of Pittsburgh with two more hits.

And Adam LaRoche had two more hits, raising his average to .179, but it is significantly better than that in the month of May.

Possibly most interesting of all, was the lack of offense from Freddy Sanchez.
Sanchez, who had been mashing the last two nights, didn't have a hit and the Pirates, as a whole, didn't produce.

It's not fair to say there is a direct correlation, but it certainly was evident Sunday and Monday that Sanchez was very timely with his hits and it helped propel the offense.

Finally, lost in the mess that is Tony Armas 2007 season, is the rought start of Paul Maholm.
With the exception of that dominating CG, Maholm has been pretty bad.
Six more innings and five more earned runs on Tuesday.
ERA balloons to 5.67 with a 2-5 record. Ouch.

Heating Up? -- Bucs Win

What Tom Gorzelanny did Monday night shouldn't surprise anyone.

What the Pirates offense did, however, is still a little shocking.

7 Runs on 11 hits, against Dontrelle Willis no less.
Including four more hits from Freddy Sanchez. And two RBI's.
Solo RBI's from Jason Bay and Chris Duffy.
A solo homerun, the Pirates first during their offensive breakout, by Ronny Paulino.
And a two-run double by Jose Castillo.

That makes two straight games the Pirates offense had 10+ hits.
And two straight wins.

Are they heating up for good?

Oh, and that Gorzelanny guy, he was pretty good too.
7 shutout innings, 5 hits, NO WALKS, and 5k's.
Record moves to 5-2 with a paltry 2.36 ERA

Maybe we should all stop drinking beer?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Stars and Dogs

Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Chicago:

This is hard to do. But the entire offense will get all six dogs. Three hits against Jason Marquis. Three hits. This was just pathetic. 6 Dogs - The Offense.

Thursday's 6-4 win against Chicago:

1 Star - Paul Maholm (Out-dueling Zambrano. Got to appreciate that.)
2 Stars - Ryan Doumit (Another two hits. Keep hitting.)
3 Stars - Jason Bay (Fifth home run. 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs.)

Friday's 4-1 loss to Atlanta:

1 Dog - Adam LaRoche (Left five on base.)
2 Dogs - Jose Bautista (Hitless in that No. 2 spot.)
3 Dogs - Zach Duke (Nine hits in five-plus innings. He gets hit so easily.)

Saturday's 9-2 loss to Atlanta:

1 Dog - Chris Duffy (0-for-3 at the top. Got to start something.)
2 Dogs - Brad Eldred (0-for-4 with two Ks. Bout time for him to go down.)
3 Dogs - Tony Armas (Five runs in two innings. Why is he here again?)

Sunday's blowout over Atlanta:

1 Star - Jack Wilson (On base every at-bat. Production from the No. 8 spot.)
2 Stars - Freddy Sanchez (Three hits, three RBIs. He needs to get going.)
3 Stars - Ian Snell (This kid is good. Enough said.)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bob Walk Says it All -- Bucs Win

"You watch this game, Lanny, and you just wonder, where's it all been?" - Bob Walk

Walk doesn't usually have a clue.

With that comment though, he was right on.

We've been as critical as anyone about the Pirate offense.
We didn't have many hits at today.
We have no problem giving the Pirates credit. In fact we don't even have to write it.

Check the books to see how good it was:
13 Runs on 18 hits
Chris Duffy 3-for-4, raised his avg to .240 and stole a base for the first time since April
Freddy Sanchez 3-for-6 with 3 RBI
Jason Bay 2-for-4 with 2 RBI
Ryan Doumit 2-for-5
Ronny Paulino 2-for-4 with 2 RBI
Jack Wilson 3-for-3 with 2 runs scored

They did all that without hitting a homerun.

Walk sums it up in the ninth.

"One of those games where everything the Pirates did turned out great."

Too Bad it doesn't mean anything tomorrow.

Friday, May 11, 2007

An Obvious Difference -- Bucs Lose

Isn't it funny how little things make the difference.
A likely playoff team vs. one that hasn't been there in a decade.
The difference was built in the sixth inning.

For the first five innings, Sir Zach Duke had it crusin'. 1-0 Bucs.

This may or may not be the inside of my car...

Then in the sixth, he rattles off two quick outs before a shot to center by Chipper.

Nady goes crashing into the wall, ball goes in the glove and out. Double.

Then it all comes unraveled.
- A. Jones homered to deep center, C. Jones scored
- J. Francoeur homered to deep left
- B. McCann singled to shortstop
- M. Diaz singled to center, B. McCann to second

Sir Duke in the dugout after getting pulled...

4-1 before you blinked. And you just knew the offense wasn't bringing us back.

It didn't.

Ball Game.

Like I stated above, baseball is about little things and this game was full of them.

For instance, take the bottom of the fourth. Bucs hitting, no score.
first and second, nobody out, domes at first, bay at 2nd, nady singles sharply to right and cox holds bay at 3rd. laroche drives him in with sac but would bay have gone home and scored and would domes have been at third for laroches fly?

I understand the argument you hold Bay there with no outs, but isn't the Pirates offense a valid enough excuse to send Bay there and take the chance. If Domes and Nady both move up on the throw you have 2nd and 3rd with one out, worst case, and you get the run with LaRoche's sac anyway.

Second thing that bugged me was Nady's at-bat in the sixth. Davies just allowed a walk and a double and he is obviously tiring and you are down three runs and not only do you swing at the first pitch, but you put a half swing on it. If you are gonna swing there, that ball has to be in the cock zone. Say what you want, but a hitting coach or manager has to be installing more discipline there, IMO.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jump Start My Heart -- Bucs Win Series

Hey, if every time Jim Tracy is going to log on and read this site, he will change the lineup around with the goal of getting the offense going, I got no problem expressing my disgust.
Disclaimer: I am positive my writing had nothing to do with today's win.

Either way, we'll take a 6-4 win and a series from the Cubbies in Chicago.

Domes keeps it rollin' and is now hitting .442. It would seem too obvious to state that he should play EVERYDAY but something tells me it isn't that obvious to Pirate management.
Not a bad start out of Pauly Walnuts. Looked like the stats could have been really pretty until the final two bombs by Pagan and Barrett.

And who woulda thought that what the Pirates offense really needed was a start from Carlos Zambrano, who for the second straight year, is off to a rough start and has an ERA near 6.00

Couple questions about this upcoming weekend series:

1. How long is the leash for Ronny Paulino? Will Doumit take a few starts from him this weekend? Or even on a more permanent basis?

2. Where will Jack Flash end up in this lineup? Is he better in the 2 or the 8? Where will he produce more?

3. Jose Bautista would seem to me to be a great fit in the 2, will he stay there?

I don't need answers now. I'm actually feeling good about this win and I'm going to enjoy it.

A very accurate picture of me as I left work today after the win...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time for a Change -- Bucs Shutout

It's not the answer. I won't fight that. It isn't all Jeff Manto's fault that Chris Duffy can't hit the ball to the left side of second base. Or that Jack Wilson is a career .266 hitter. Or that Adam LaRoche isn't hitting his weight.

It's not ALL his fault.

But I mean, come on. Lets shake something up, make something happen. Send a message, do something different, because at what point does it become obvious to the people within the Pirates organization that what they are currently doing, isn't working.

Of the six guys who played tonight that are most likely part of the Pirates "everyday lineup",

Duffy, Sanchez, Bay, Nady, LaRoche and Bautista...

...they finished 1-for-21. ONE - FOR - TWENTY ONE

I am dead serious, DEAD SERIOUS, when I say that if Alan and I each got 21 at-bats against a contact pitcher like Marquis, we could each get one hit. There is zero doubt in my mind.

What else can I say about tonight? Great starting pitching, No hitting. I am running out of material for recaps.

Back on track

Start counting the no decisions -- it looks like Ian Snell will lead the majors in them this year.

Snell pitched another solid game, allowing only three runs over seven innings. He did give up 10 hits, but he struck out five and walked NONE to keep the Bucs within striking distance of a win against the Cubs.

Even more impressive than Snell was the work of the bullpen, which worked eight shutout innings, including three scoreless innings by Jonah Bayliss. Bayliss, who struggled in his last three appearances, struck out four, walked none and allowed only one hit in his three innings for the win.

Congrats, Jonah. Way to lower the ERA to 6.11. And our closer, whose ERA now stands at 5.79 saved his 10th game of the season.

Enough of the pitcher. Time for the lumber of the game...You've got to believe at some point that the offense will start "hitting away."

Better teacher of hitting than Manto

...but I don't see that coming anytime soon.

The Bucs left a total of 32 men on base, backing up Matt's assumption that no one on this team can hit in the clutch. Adam LaRoche left six on, Ronny Paulino left five on, Jack Wilson five and Freddy Sanchez four.

And what proved to be the biggest hits of the game? Two sacrifice flies from a guy that went 0-for-6. Jack Wilson, held hitless in the game, tied the game in the ninth inning with a sac fly and won the game in the 15th with a sac fly. These Pirates are something else.

"I think it was by far the worst game of my career and it ended up being two nice sac flies to tie the game and end the game," Wilson said.


Stars of the game:
1 Star - Jack Wilson (He did tie and win the game.)
2 Stars - Salomon Torres (For some reason, I thought he was going to blow it.)
3 Stars - Jonah Bayliss (Definitely thought we were doomed there.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Just My Two Cents...

There have been some pundits, some minds around the Pirates who continue to harp on the Pirates lack of defense. They continue to overstate the way the defense is costing the Pirates games and how the Pirates will never win without defense and blah blah blah.

This team can't win because this team CAN'T HIT.

It's not that complicated.
Teams who can't field have won the World Series.
Teams who can't pitch have not.
Teams who don't hit better have extraordinary pitching. The 2007 Pirates, do not. Their pitching is good, it's not extraordinary. No staff with Tony Armas and Marty McLeary will be considered "extraordinary."

Then there is another theory gaining steam that states the Pirates aren't in "that bad of shape" because they dont have an offense, a closer or any other thing necessary to compete and are still only four games under. 500!!!!!

Its ridiculous.

Its idiotic.

Its even, ludacris.

Incredible hair out of him...

What fantasy world are fans living in that makes them believe what is happening with the Pirates right now is different than the norm? Or that it will improve?

Pirates hitters fall into three current categories.
1. Overachieving
2. Underachieving
3. We don't know yet
4. Can't hit in the clutch

Here are the overachievers:
Jack Wilson (a career .266 hitter, hitting .280)

Here are the underachievers:
Adam LaRoche (Yes, his career numbers aren't based on that long of a time, but there isn't much to support the idea of him hitting .170)
Freddy Sanchez (He's always hit, and will almost certainly hit above .300 this year. I agree with anyone that says he will turn it around.)
Xavier Nady (I'll give them this one. We don't really know what he is capable of, but in almost a full year, he hit .280 last season.)
Jason Bay (Easily the best player on the team, avg will almost certainly go up)

Here is who we don't know:
Ronny Paulino (One year)
Jose Bautista (No clue yet)
Chris Duffy (The definition of "no one knows")

Cant hit in the clutch:
All of them

So I assume Bay and Sanchez are the two players who can hit close to .300 on the team and can be count on for that much. As for the rest of them, there is no way to count on them for anything? I don't see any proof that would back the idea that the Pirates offense will DEFINITELY improve. I am not saying it won't, I am merely stating that I don't understand the idea of saying, "at least we are winning some games while not hitting, just imagine what happens when we start."

That idea of starting, is not guaranteed in the least.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fielder goes yard -- 2 times

So Prince Fielder beat the Pirates yesterday. The Bucs are currently in one of their down parts of the year. We're used to seeing a lot of these. It's frustrating, it really is.

Ryan Doumit is hitting, though the offense is struggling.

Andrew McCutchen hit his second home run of the season yesterday. He's still not hitting the ball consistently, and his home run was his only hit of the game, but maybe it'll spark something.

Oh...and by the way, Roger Clemens has signed with the New York Yankees, which means no Clemens in the NL Central -- at least something to look at for the Bucco offense.

3 Dogs of the game:
1 Dog - Jason Bay (1-for-5, 3 Ks and 4 left on base.)
2 Dogs - Matt Capps (Couldn't stop the bleeding.)
3 Dogs - John Grabow (Loss. Enough said.)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Prince Fielder Show -- Bucs Lose

Prince Fielder had the type of game Sunday that would make anyone proud.

Even his Daddy...

Fielder, who of course was involved with the hit-by-pitch fiasco the night before with Matt Capps, homered twice, had 3 hits, drove in three runs, made a diving play at first and scored the most important run of the game on a single by Bill Hall, narrowly avoiding the tag of Ryan Doumit.

It was a man's performance. It was a day you dream of.

It should also be remembered as the day that Prince Fielder started a personal rivalry with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After he beat the tag from Doumit, Fielder arrogantly shouted and flexed at Capps who was walking back toward the dugout. It wasn't simply a "I'm happy i scored" reaction, it was a "in your face, eat it, and if you don't like it, come do something about it" reaction.

I don't know how it will sit with the Pirates, or with Capps. God knows, the Pirates have bigger problems, but I know it didn't sit well with me. I thought it was unnecessary arrogance from a guy who hasn't played long enough to earn a lot of people's respect as one of the games greats.

As for the rest of the game, the Pirates continued to buy into the

"2007 Pirates Outline of Defeat."
1. Get sub-par starting pitching (Armas went 5, 3 earned, walked two)
2. Don't hit for at least five innings (No Runs for six innings, only five hits through six)
3. Have one breakout inning to tie the game or go-ahead (The Bucs scored four in the 7th)
4. The bullpen blows it and you lose (Capps/Grabow, 2IP, 2 Runs)
Frustrated? We are too.

Updated Stars and Dogs

As Matt has already stated. Excuse us on the lack of informative posts. It's been a long week/weekend for the both of us.

So to catch up on dogs and stars, I'll do a quick run down and get the site back up on track.

I hope you weren't expecting too much out of the Bucs against the Brew Crew -- they look pretty decent this season. The Weeks/Hardy/Fielder top of the order will be a force for the next however many years.

The delayed Cubs/Pirates game dogs:
1 Dog - Jason Bay (Not a good showing.)
2 Dogs - John Grabow (Terrible in relief.)
3 Dogs - Jonah Bayliss ( Even more terrible in relief.)

Wednesday -- the Pirates lost their second game in the same day:
1 Dog - Ian Snell (Not a good outing. Four walks and four runs.)
2 Dogs - Adam LaRoche (Team left four men on base. He left three.)
3 Dogs - Jonah Bayliss (Three runs and didn't get an out.)

Thursday's win over the Brewers:
1 Star - Jose Bautista (Home run, 2 runs, 2 RBI)
2 Stars - Salomon Torres (Another save.)
3 Stars - Tom Gorzelanny (Our most consistent starter. He's good.)

Embarassing 10-0 loss. (How cool were the Brewers' throwbacks?):
1 Dog - Xavier Nady (0-for-4, 4 left on base.)
2 Dogs - Jonah Byaliss (Another three runs.)
3 Dogs - Paul Maholm (He was a first-round draft choice?)

Another series lost:
1 Dog - Chris Duffy (0-for5, 6 left on base.)
2 Dogs - Zach Duke (Start missing some bats.)
3 Dogs - Matt Capps (Gave the game away.)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Five Things We Learned At Miller Park -- Bucs Lose

Five things we learned last night.

1. JJ Hardy could very well have a breakout year. Hardy is now hitting .328 after a 4-for-5 night against the Bucs Friday. He already has seven bombs and 22 RBI. In 372 at-bats two years ago, Hardy had just nine homeruns and hit .247. Health problems have held him back, but this could be his year. Could be bad news for NLCD teams.

2. Maybe John Wasdin wasn't the problem. Marty McLeary, called up to replace Wasdin, threw 2 and one-third innings last night allowing four earned on four hits. Fair questions would include Where is Josh Sharpless? Dan Kolb? Anyone else?

3. We should have been worried about Paul Maholm, not Gorz. Coming out of spring training when fans everywhere were wondering why Gorzy was in the rotation, very little worry was expressed about Paul Maholm. However, it has been Maholm that has been terrible this year outside of his complete game shutout. Maholm is 1-4 with a 5.51 ERA, 19k/11bb in 31.2 innings with a 1.56 whip. Ouch.

4. Did anyone else think there were some bright spots in LaRoche's swing last night? No? Even when he ripped the single? Or when he smoked that ball late in the game? Not at all? Fair enough.

5. Give me some time, I am working on, i just need the time and money.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Raise the Jolly Jose -- Bucs Win

Baseball is a game of numbers, right?

Look at the numbers of Dave Bush, George's cousin, coming into the game.

2-2, 6.23ERA, 1.45 WHIP

So the Bucs gotta jump on him early. Really come out of the gate.

No LaRoche, Nady and Doumit in. Jim Tracy can't win in this situation.

Nady has produced. But LaRoche needs at-bats if hes ever gonna break out.

Fans would persecute Tracy if Doumit's bat wasn't there. So, no right answer.

Duffy, Jack, Freddy...get it going.

Then again in the third. And the fifth. And the sixth.

Then Jeff Manto said he has had enough, either hit or you're cut.

- F. Sanchez doubled to deep center
- J. Bay doubled to right, F. Sanchez scored
- J. Bautista homered to deep left, J. Bay scored
- R. Paulino homered to deep right center

These guys can stay. The rest might be cut. Just like that, 4-2 Bucs.

Capps works the bridge to Trainwreck Torres.

One walk later, Game Over. Bucs Win.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

We All Stink -- Bucs Drop Two

Excuse Alan and I.
The posts around here have been about as interesting as this letdown season of "24"

No word if Nassir is a Pirates fan. It is confirmed shes smoking hott.

I didn't get to see much of Tuesday nights game at all and I missed Wednesdays entirely.

Heres what I know --
1. The Pirates lost two games in one day, somehow
2. Soriano used the Pirates to heat up
3. Cliff Floyd absolutely hammered a ball Tuesday night
4. Jonah Bayliss needs some days off
5. The Brewers are clearly the best team in this division

Heres what I don't know...
1. Will Adam LaRoche hit? Ever?
2. Will Doumit ever come out of the lineup? Ever?
3. What happened to Ian Snell?
4. Are we losing Chris Duffy to the Chris Duffy of old?
5. Can we avoid a sweep in Brew Town?

You say you want recaps of the last two games....

...the Pirates didn't win. There you go.

Alan and I could return to posting for this weekend. Or not. Its Cinco de Mayo.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A little come from behind.

Same old Bucs and lackluster Duke in the early on.

One inning - 1-0 Cubs.

Two innings - 2-0 Cubs.

...and with Rich Hill on the mound. Not a good recipe for a Pirates win.

But then Duke settles in. He pitches yet another ugly game. More hits than innings pitched and barely any strike outs. Who cares, though, when your offense starts to back you up.

Think if that guy was leading the offense.

LaRoche singles in a run. Paulino doubles in another. Bay homers in the eighth. Three runs on seven hits for the Bucs proves to be enough. Capps secures the win, Torres gets the save, although he gets rocketed again in the process. A nice win.


1 Star - Zach Duke (Quality start.)
2 Stars - Ronny Paulino (Game-tying double.)
3 Stars - Jason Bay (Game-winning home run.)