Monday, August 3, 2009

Summertime Blues

The Pirates used the same template that worked so unsuccessfully for them last night, and the Washington Nats left town with a split after an 8-4 victory.

Like last night, the Pirates scored early, failed to add on, and watched the starter fade in the latter stages of the game and then get no help from the pen. The Bucs walked five, threw three wild pitches, and generally fell behind in the count.

At least the Pirates hit the ball around some this evening. They had eleven hits, drew five walks, and had Washington throw in three errors. But they stranded eleven, went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, loaded the bases twice and had runners on second and third without scoring, and hit into three DPs.

The ninth inning epitomized the evening. Andrew McCutchen led off with a single, and down by five runs, the next five batters swung at the first pitch. One was a strike. Donnie Long better work on that discipline thing a little bit.

In spite of the three errors, the fielding, especially in the infield, was excellent. Ryan Zimmerman made a couple of sweet stops for the Nats, and Ronny Cedeno, Andy LaRoche, and Steve Pearce all made nice grabs.

Arizona comes to town next, and after that, the schedule becomes a grind. They face the Cards, Rockies, Cubs and Brewers, and the youngsters better mature in a hurry if they want to compete with the bigger kids on the block.

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