Today I got to see the Pirates for the first time in person and there was some good, some bad and some terrible. The thought of two of those being bad just makes me sick to my stomach, but whatever.
Before I get into the actual game I must tell this story. I went to the game early to catch BP and I was lucky enough that the Pirates took longer than usual BP so I can see some of the guys hit more. I was standing right beside the Pirates dugout and a little kid who was six years old in an Andrew McCutchen shersy come up and is watching BP with his parents. The family was obvious Brewer fans except for the little kid. I gave him a high five and told him that he was repping the right team. His parents then go on to tell me that this kid just loves Pirates so his favorite sports teams are the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went on to tell me that he wanted to be the starting pitcher for the Pirates when he got older and this kid have maybe every Pirates baseball card in hopes of getting autographs on them.
This kid just stared out at the field and watched everything. His parents told me that the Pirates were far and away his favorite team and that he knows every player on the team. I mean this kid is six and lives in Wisconsin and he loves the Pirates. I know that the kid likes them because of something totally unrelated that he likes, but it is still cool to see the kid take so much excitement in coming to see the Pirates play. The kid also brought his collection of Pirate cards and he must have had 100 of them. When he saw McCutchen out there he went through all his cards and picked up every single McCutchen card so that he could hopefully get them signed. McCutchen didn't sign any autographs but that didn't stop this kid from watching him the whole time. Matt Diaz came around and singed stuff and this kid was pretty excited and Diaz couldn't have been a nicer guy. He signed three cards for the kid and talked to him for a few minutes before moving on. It was really nice to see and I am sure it made the kids day. Just really something cool to see kids that love the game at such a young age like I did when I was little.
Well, after that the game came. If you watched the first three innings of the game you literally would have though the Pirates got no-hit and the Brewers tacked on 25 runs. Luckily it didn't happen like that but it was really bad really early for the Pirates.
That being said Kevin Correia didn't have much of anything. He only went four innings and gave up six runs, all earned. He just never really seemed to have it. Correia has been pretty good all year so a game like this was bound to happen at some point, but against the Brewers made it a lot harder to deal with. Everything seemed flat and in the zone and when you have hitters like Weeks, Braun and Fielder they are going to make you pay.
If you put Correia's performance in his four innings of work was a 1 on a sscale of 1-10 (one being the worst) then the Pirates offense was a -50. Every hitter that went up there against Zach Greinke was lost. They had no idea what was going on and outside of Andrew McCutchen's leadoff at bat (which almost went out) there was nothing of note to report on.
Just when I was seriously thinking that the Pirates were going to get no hit they just broke out the lumer. It all started with a great at bat by Neil Walker with one out. Walker battled for what seemed like 20 pitches and ended the at bat with a home run to right center. It was nice to have hte hit and run, but as a fan you wanted at least one or two more to make it a game. The Pirates did better.
With two outs Chris Snyder, Ronny Cedeno and Steve Pearce (pinch hit for Correia) all doubled followed by and Andrew McCutchen triple and a Jose Tabata single. Five runs in the fifth, four scored with two outs, and it was a game. We have really been waiting for the offense to do something as they have been pretty bad lately. To clutch up with a string of extra base hits like that with two outs made me feel good.
As good as it was for the Pirates to get that five spot I still have some concerns. Besides the fifth and ninth innigns the Pirates only had one hit. I would like to see them be more consistent over a majority of the game. They look completely lost in other innings and like they couldn't be contained in other innings.
I am as big of a Jose Tabata fan as anyone but something is really wrong with him. He looks really off balance and one of the most lost (does that make sense?) hitter. Doesn't look like he is reading pitches well and seems like he is thinking way too much. Granted we are talking about 35 games and I think he will even out as the season goes on, but it will be interesting to see how long he stays in this slump and how he reacts to it.
The Pirates are terrible in Milwaukee. Nothing more needs to be said. They have three wins there since 2007 (I think). You almost have to try to be that bad at a place. Maybe next time they come here. Meh.
The Pirates have no dropped five straight and they head to D.C. to play against a team they are better than. If they can win both games down there they might be able to bring some good mojo home with them, which would be nice.