Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back to Reality: Nationals 9, Pirates 2

You knew that something good couldn't last a long time with the Pirates. It was a fireworks night, with a pack house at PNC Park and the Pirates put forth a pretty bad effort in a loss to Washington. Usually the Pirates are good in front of 30,000+ in the park, but not tonight.

Not too much to say about the game. Paul Maholm started strong and really breezed through three innings and then hit the wall in the fourth inning and gave up five runs and the Pirates really never stood a chance after that. This season Paul has been pretty good in bounce back games but tonight was a totally different story. Paul finished pitching only 4.1 innings giving up seven runs, all earned, and eight hits. Not what I would call a bounce back performance. Maholm really hasn't seemed to have hit any sort of stride this season as it has been up and down from start to start and sometimes from inning to inning. But isn't that the true story of the Pirates this year?

The offense wasn't great. Almost every Pirates starter had a hit, but nothing really substantial came out of that. Lastings Milledge had three hits, but his shoddy defensive play cost the Pirates some runs in the fourth inning, big shocker. Pedro continued to be pedestrian at third base as he committed his 12th error of the year. This past week has been pretty bad for Pedro defensively and makes you want Anthony Rendon even more.

The bright spot was Milledge and McCutchen, who hit a ball that got out of the park in like .3 seconds to give the Pirates one of their only runs of the game, which is pretty typical if you have watched the Pirates at any length this season.

Neil Walker also picked up his 100th hit of the season in tonight's game. Not enough can be said about how good Walker has been this season. Coming into the season I didn't have much hope for Neil, thinking he could be a platoon guy that hits like .260ish, but he has exceeded all expectations and made me look like a fool. He has been outstanding all while continuing to have a very high BABIP number, which would indicate he has been more "lucky" when he hits, but I always say I would rather be lucky than good. I will take it.

Baltimore took a game from Tampa Bay tonight also so Baltimore is five games up in the win column and the magic number for the number one pick is only 22.

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