Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Game 102 Recap - Braves 2, Pirates 1 (10 Innings)

Tonight was another depressing loss, much like the loss last night, except for the terrible call in the 19th inning. The Pirates went to extra inning again and had David Ross beat them (again) with a single. The Pirates offense continues to struggle as they only gathered seven hits and gave outs away like it was their job, again.

Not even sure there is much to say about this game. If you watched it you know what I mean and if you didn’t watch it then you probably are pretty excited that you didn’t. The Pirates pitching was again outstanding but the outs on the base paths (not necessarily bad outs) and the lack of crucial hits really did the team in for the second night in a row.

After last night Paul Maholm had to be great, and he was. He went seven innings and gave up a sole run on nine hits. He struck out eight batters in 109 pitches and really could have came back out for the eighth inning, but Clint Hurdle decided not to bring him back out. A really gutty effort form Paul as he got big outs when he was in jams and gave the bullpen a breather that they desperately needed.

The pen was good again tonight. Tony Watson and Jose Veras both went and inning each and gave up a hit. Veras struck out two and really was strong again. Chris Leroux came out for the 10th inning and was only able to record one out before giving up singles to Nate McLouth and Frankie Freeman before getting his first pitch thrown to David Ross hit into left field for the game.

A lot of people are blaming Clint Hurdle for this game for not going to Joel Hanrahan in the 10th when Leroux got into the jam, and that is more than justified. In two extra inning games Joel Hanrahan threw as many innings as I had and I am seriously wondering if the only time we will see Joel is if the Pirates have a 1-3 run lead in the final inning. Saves are pretty overrated in most people’s book and while I think Hanrahan should have been out there tonight this was only one of the problems in the game. With the way the offense was hitting not sure it really mattered but you have to at least see Hanrahan at some point, right?

Want to know the other problem? The hitting, in a big way. The Pirates were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position tonight and when they didn’t have runners in scoring position they were getting eliminated on the base paths. Two runners were thrown out trying to steal after reaching as leadoff hitters and one was thrown out at the plate in a tie game trying to score. Now, don’t take this as me saying these were bad ideas, because they were not. When you have a team like the Pirates you have to try and create runs any way possible. Both base runners were thrown out by a good margin but you havge to be aggressive and Alvarez was out on a really bang bang play that took a perfect through. I don’t have a problem with them but when you don’t get a lot of hits getting out on plays like that is really going to kill you.

Try to salvage the series tomorrow.

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