Saturday, June 20, 2009

Little Things

Hey, the Bucs hit the ball on the nose tonight, scoring seven times. But it wasn't enough, as the Rox smacked three homers to negate that and went on to a 9-7 victory.

But it wasn't the big things that cost the Pirates; it was the little things that did them in. One inning in particular killed Pittsburgh.

The Pirates had put up a four spot in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead, keyed by Andrew McCutchen's bases-juiced triple. They added another in the eighth, runners on first and second with no one out, and JR had Jack Wilson bunt.

Everyone knows in that situation that you push the ball up the third base line; everyone but Jack Splat, that is. He tried to bunt a pitch well outside the first time, almost popping out. Then he banged one to the left of the mound, for a force out at third. Wasted chance one.

Then Jason Jaramillo got picked off second. Instead of adding to the pot, the Pirates folded. It would get worse.

With a three run lead, John Grabow walked the first batter on five pitches. With two outs, he gave up a bloop single. Then Grabow got ahead of Chris Iannetta, 0-2.

Jaramillo set up low and in; everyone knows that you waste a pitch with that count and see if the batter will fish. Not Grabow. He delivered one right down Broadway, and Iannetta bombed it into straight center for a game-tying homer.

Hey, seven runs should win you a game. But when veterans like Wilson and Grabow make mistakes that would get a kid exiled to the bushes until he learns the game, well, you can see why the suits can't wait to break up this club.

At least young guys can learn from their mistakes; old salts that should know better but just don't execute when the game is being decided are a different story.

The Pirates have lost 2-1/2 games in the past three days, falling 6-1/2 back. It's not panic button time quite yet, but it sure could be by July 4th. And that'll give the suits plenty of time to beat the trade deadline.

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