Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bucs Nearly Outnumber Fans

Two outs, and runner on first after a walk to the eighth batter and botched bunt. That's the situation Charlie Morton faced in the top of the third inning. One more out and back to the dugout. If it were only that simple...

A ground ball single into left, a shot that hopped over the wall, a gapper into center, and a dink single into left, and hey, suddenly it's 4-0 Cincinnati. And that frame became a mountain the Pirate hitters just couldn't climb.

Lastings Milledge went yard, and that was the only money ball among the Pirates' seven hits. However, the fireworks display did draw the attention of a hovering Apache helicopter. It didn't have to worry; the Pirates aren't a threat to anyone.

The Reds had seven hits; and stringing together those four knocks did in the Bucs today in front of a gathering of 2-4,000, depending on who was counting. Heck, there were more riot cops on Penn Avenue than there were warm fannies at PNC.

As the season spins out of control, it's tough to tell who's sadder - the Pirates, their fans, or the PNC vendors.

-- The Pirates claimed RHP Anthony Claggett off waivers from the New York Yankees. The Bronx Bombers DFA'ed him on September 14th. To clear space for him, RHP Jose Ascanio was placed on the 60-day DL. So much for Jose being back next week.

Claggett, 25, was 7-7 with four saves and a 3.07 ERA in 39 appearances for Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He struck out 43 and walked 32 in 82 innings of work. He's considered borderline 40-man roster material.

-- Freddy Sanchez will have off season surgery on the torn meniscus in his left knee. Both the Giants and Pirates were aware that Sanchez would likely require knee surgery after the year when they made the July 29 trade, which makes snagging a top prospect like Tim Alderson even more surprising.

-- Braves prospect Todd Richmond (3-0, 1.21 ERA) tossed eight shutout innings yesterday as the United States defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 to earn a spot in the World Cup championship game. Remember Redmond? He was traded for Tyler Yates last season.

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