Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pirates Game 4 Recap - Dodgers 3, Pirates 0

-Just another brutally bad game for the Pirates offense. I mean I know it is only four games into the season but nobody has put together even consistently good at bats is a problem for anyone. Like you can make an out but still have a good at bat but those are even few and far between. It is just really disheartening to watch this team hit.

-Before I go jump off the bridge you have to have something positive to say right Cory? Well, yea, I guess. Coming into the game I was pretty afraid of what Jonathan Sanchez was going to be like. He probably was the worst starting pitcher in all of baseball last year and he walked a ton of guys. Before the game I was thinking about what a good night might be for him and I thought that if he could 'only' give up four walks then I guess I could deal with that but to be honest he did a lot better than I expected. Sanchez only went five plus innings but for most of the game he was pretty in control. He did issue one walk that came in the top of the sixth but up until that point he had struck out four, not walked a batter and given up five hits and only one run. He did give up a pair of other runs in the sixth inning without recording an out but if you ask me that was a pretty good first start for Sanchez. If he can give the Pirates something like that every time out I think I would take that. Sure, it wasn't an ideal start but with Francisco Liriano comes back and Sanchez can move to the fifth spot in the rotation that would be a nice piece to have.

-Jeanmar Gomez got to come into the game tonight and while I do not think he needs to be on the team but he actually pitched really well tonight. He went three innings and didn't give up a run while throwing only 33 pitches. I don't think this is something we should be getting used to but it was good to see he wasn't a total disaster. I guess you can sum it up like this:

Yup, small miracles.

-The Pirates have 15 hits in 128 at bats to start the season. They have drawn only nine walks. This team has a real problem getting on base. This isn't really a shock but it is just frustrating to watch so many swing and miss hitters go up to the plate.

-I love the idea of Starling Marte but I don't love the approach of Starling Marte. At times I truly think that Marte decides if he is going to swing the bat before the pitcher even starts his windup and that is a huge problem. No doubt that Marte is an outstanding athlete with the ability to play the game but offensively he really doesn't seem to have an approach when he goes up to the plate. If he was hitting seven or eight then it isn't as big of a problem but he is hitting leadoff. He has always struggled to get on base and so far this season he has struck out five times in 16 plate appearances and just looked lost at the dish. He will show flashes but when he was brought up last year this was a problem. It looks like it hasn't got any better.

-I love Andrew McCutchen. He is a great baseball player and really turned the corner last year but he is just brutally bad at stealing bases. I don't know what it is but at the beginning of last year it was made public (not that it needed to be) that he had the green light to steal when he wanted. The problem is he just can't steal bases. McCutchen has the speed to be able to steal bases but when you are trying to swipe a bag it is much more about jumps and quickness than it is about straight speed. He consistently gets bad jumps and even though he has stolen a few bases tonight he was more lucky that the throws were pretty poor. Tonight he singled with one out in a later inning for one of the few Pirates base runners and ran on the first pitch. He got a bad jump and was thrown out. No reason to run there even if you are a strong base stealer. I think a problem is that Cutch feels like he has to be a base stealer because of how much Clint Hurdle talks about being aggressive when he really should take much more calculated risks.

-Back at it tomorrow. They are going against Clayton Kershaw. Might get ugly.

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