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.