It's still five weeks before Halloween, but the Pirates took an early trip to their favorite House of Horrors, Miller Field, and remained 0-for-2008 with a 7-5 loss.
The Buc outfield in particular played like a trio of headless horsemen, committing two errors, letting balls fly over their head, and unleashing throws into the netherworld.
The Brewers were handed a pair of runs to start the game - Jeff Karstens actually pitched fairly well tonight - but came back and treated the Pirates in the second, when Dave Bush walked three batters, including Karstens on four piches, and then gave up two-out RBI hits to Nyjer Morgan and Freddie Sanchez to fall behind 3-2.
But with a lineup minus Adam LaRoche, who is day-to-day with a groin tweak, and Brandon Moss, who the Bucs shut down after finding out his knee may need cut after a routine check-up, the only other runs would come on a two run shot by Steve Pearce.
Jesse Chavez, John Grabow, and TJ Beam hung pitches that were turned into a pair of RBI doubles and a homer, and the Brew Crew, in a must-have game, walked off with the win after Prince Fielder's ninth inning, two-out shot.
The Pirates haven't won at Miller since May of 2007. That's downright spooky.
> The Pirate OF was brutal tonight. Morgan let a soft liner dink off his mitt, leading to a run, and later in the game had trouble playing a ball off the wall and then made a poor throw into his relay, allowing another run to cross the plate. On the other side of the coin, he had four hits. We're guessing he's modeling his game after Juan Pierre.
Nate McLouth left his feet for a ball well over his head and then launched a throw that landed nowhere near his cut-off, and that cost the Bucs a run. Pearce hesitated a second on a liner to right, and it ended up barely over his head. Yep, another Brewer run plated, compliments of the outfield.
> Moss will see a Colorado doctor soon to get a second opinion on his knee. It apparently hasn't bothered him in Pittburgh, but acted up on him in Boston earlier in the year.
He has a structural problem that may need surgery to correct, according to the Buc docs, caused by his tibia and femur grinding together at the knee, technically known as osteochondritis dissecans.
The Vail medico is Dr. Steadman, an expert in microfracture surgery, the recommended course of action to correct the problem. The procedure generally requires 6-8 months of recovery time, and that would put quite a crimp in next year's Pirate plans and Moss' career. Caveat emptor.
> No further word on Pedro. We'll see if the arbitration hearing picks up again tomorrow after being cancelled today. We've seen Rube Goldberg contraptions that were less complicated than this mess. After all, how hard is it to give someone $6M just to play baseball?
> Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors has a telling piece on the value of top draft picks and how they contributed to playoff success this year at Built with First Round Picks.