Charlie Morton got another start for the Pirates, and he picked up loss number 11 in a route at PNC Park. It was supposed to be a great day at the park with Maz getting his statue unveiled before the game and having a nice ceremony beforehand. I did not get to see the unveiling but I did get to see the pregame stuff on the field. It wasn't anything big but it was nice and very good to see for someone that made on of the biggest hits in the history of baseball.
Outside of the celebration for Maz the game was a pretty big dud. Chuck did ok through three innings but gave up five runs in the fourth inning. What was most frustrating about this was that it wasn't really all Chuck. It would be easy to just sit here and say that "Chuck really didn't have his stuff and got pounded in the gaps all day and got chased early". That was not the case. The defense was terrible to the tune of four unearned runs out of the six that Chuck gave up. You can't win with shoddy defense and the three errors led to six unearned runs total for the game.
This was just tough to watch. Everything went wrong. Not only was the defense shoddy but Chuck just seems to be unlucky. Couple the unlucky streak with not being very good and you get 1-11. Just tough to deal with. I like Chuck a lot and really think he can be good for the team but he needs to show something in spring training. I don't know if he will get another start but with how bad the rotation is already it is hard to imagine he will not get another shot at some point, whether that is now or later.
The offense wasn't horrid. They got a few hits here and there, actually 11 for the game which is pretty good. The Pirates 1-3 hitters had seven hits with Walker having three so you can't complain about that. To continue with the "Calvary" line Pedro went 1-for-4 but he hit a ball that might not have landed yet for his 11th home run.
With that being said I really must bring up the point again that this season, and probably most (if not all) of next, is not about wins and losses, they are about evaluation of our young talent. Sure it would be nice to win a few ball games but when you have Walker and Tabata hitting like they are and you have Cutch and Alvarez still playing decently well (well offensively for Pedro, his defense is shoddy at best) so I think things are moving along well. We do not have enough talent to compete and I do not think we will next year either. For those of you that think that Neal is going to go out and buy three starts and a short stop you are kidding yourself. Things are going in the right direction and I like what I see from the young kids. Couple that with the arms we have in AA and I think we can see the future is pretty bright for the franchise. This is a time to be genuinely excited about this team. I know I am.
Baltimore won 8-7 today. The Pirates are 5.5 games "up" on the O's and the magic number for the number one pick in the 2011 draft is 20. I think most of you know I want Anthony Rendon and he can put this team another step closer to making a move. I am excited. If you are a real fan you should be too.