Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stuck In A Rut

Hey, nothing more deflating than giving up five runs in the nith to lose, unless it's to come back and give up five more in the first inning of the next game. Virgil Vasquez pulled a Matt Capps by lasting 1-1/3 innings and giving up the five spot on five hits and three walks.

Two of the walks were on four pitches, and the big blow was a grand slam - on an 0-2 pitch with two outs. Dub V also failed to cover first, as the Pirates again looked as fundamentally strong as Joe's Bar and Grill Little League nine.

Give Pittsburgh credit; they could have mailed it in after the first, but they kept trying. But as Pogo said "We have met the enemy and he is us." And it wasn't just Vasquez.

In the fifth, the first two Pirates walked. Andy LaRoche squelched that inning by lining into a double play. First, you shouldn't be doubled up in that situation; second, it was a 1-0 pitch that he hit; what's so hard about taking a strike from a guy that's treating the dish like a foreign object?

In the eighth, Andrew McCutchen was doubled up with runners on first and third and one out on Freddy Sanchez's fly. He was off on the pitch, and never picked up the ball or Tony Beasley at third. Otherwise, it would have been a sacrifice fly and run.

The beat goes on. Hey, we realize that no team is perfect, and the season's a grind, especially when you're getting thumped every night. But this team has to stick to the book to win. And right now, the little things are their downfall. That's the difference between the Bucs sweeping Philly instead of being broomed by them.

-- Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes that "Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez is not coming to the Rockies. It makes no sense. Sanchez will, however, be traded. The Giants can swing it if they unload pitcher Jonathan Sanchez and a prospect."

Freddy, btw, got a $25,000 bonus for earning his All-Star spot and had next year's salary, if he vests, upped by $100,000 to $8.1M. He also had 35 plate appearances knocked off his vesting time (from 635 to 600), more than making up for the time he lost to his balky back.

-- Pedro Alvarez, DH'ing for the US Future team, went 1-for-2 with an RBI single and a swinging strikeout in a game delayed by rain.

Brad Lincoln didn't fare so well. He came in to get the last out of the seventh, but instead gave up back-to-back doubles, allowing the World team take the lead and add an insurance run. Lincoln then gave up a walk before getting a pop-up to finally end the frame.

The World team won, 7-5.

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