Just a really, really, brutal loss. The Pirates used a five run fourth inning to gain a 7-1 advantage and even Bob Walk said that the game was basically over. James McDonald gave up a leadoff home run to start the game then retired the next 11 straight hitters and looked really good doing so. Hell, I thought the game was over. Then the top of the fifth inning happened and James McDonald was no longer in the game and the six run lead that the Pirates held was over.
The Pirates got the lead back with a Rod Barajas single in the sixth inning but gave it right back in the seventh inning with Chase Headley's second home run of the day to give the Padres a one run lead that they wouldn't let go.
McDonald looked like he was going to get past the terrible start since the All-Star break but he couldn't finish the job. A walk and a few base hits put him in some big trouble and then Headley hit a monster three run bomb and it was all tied up. For a guy that was a first half Cy Young candidate it sure fell apart really fast. Just frustrating to watch because watching McDonald you know that he cares more than anyone else but this is getting past just not doing things wright physically. He needs some time off and while the Pirates tweaked their rotation to include Kevin Correia they probably need to give McDonald some time off.
The offense got the job done today. When you score eight runs and get 11 hits you need to be able to win that ballgame. Starling Marte, Travis Snider and Garrett Jones combined for six hits five RBI and yet there isn't much the Pirates could do with that. You can talk about being disappointed with this game in many ways but you can't say that the offense had anything to do with that. With all the trouble the offense has had in the recent past with knocking runners in when they were in scoring position they went 5-for-12 in those situations tonight and four runs were scored with two outs. Great job by the offense.
Even though McDonald had another rough outing the Pirates held the lead and had a chance to get the win. Chris Resop came in and had a really nice outing with two perfect innings and then was yanked to bring in Tony Watson. Watson came in and gave up a home run to Headley which was hit second of the night. With two outs in the inning he walks Everth Cabrera ahead of Headley and it proved to be a huge mistake as he left a pitch over the heart of the plate and Headley drove it out to left.
I am not really sure how I feel about Watson. On one hand he can throw really hard from the left side but he rarely knows where the ball is going to go. He can be really good and have a dominating inning but he can also struggle and really make you sweat. I don't really know how I feel when he comes in but I think there are a lot better options both at the major league level that can come in those situations. It isn't even like he is a left handed specialist because of his reverse splits so, like I said, I have no idea.
There really isn't much left to say about the game. I guess the vibe I get from people is that they are just waiting for "that game" for when the Pirates make their free fall in the standings. This was one of those games where people can easily identify as "the game." If you are one of those people that think the season is over because of this loss then you need some help. This is a loss in a 162 game season, no more, no less. Does it suck that the Pirates lost the way they did? Absolutely but that doesn't mean the season is over. Last year the St. Louis Cardinals lost a game late in the season when they gave up six runs in the ninth inning when they were leading by four against the Mets. Their season was over too, right?
The Pirates come back and take the next two games and it is like this loss didn't happen. The negativity and pessimism is truly off the charts. Teams lose games. The Reds are 1-5 in their last six games. I heard a lot of people saying that the Reds had to come back to Earth at some point but why wouldn't the Pirates be in the same boat? Before the season if you told people the Pirates would get 83 wins a lot of people couldn't have taken that season fast enough. Things need to be put in perspective and the truth of the matter is that the Pirates are 2.5 UP in the wild card and only 3.5 games back in the division. They are also 14 games over .500 after 112 games. Let me ask you, are things really THAT bad? Sure the Pirates shouldn't have lost this game and it is a really tough one to swallow but it is no different if the Pirates lost 5-4 where each team scored no more than one run an inning throughout the game.
Back on the grind tomorrow.