The Pirates hitters went an amazing 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position; their need for a RBI guy is old news, but geez...0-for-13? That's what happens when you hit into a pair of DPs, have a runner thrown out at home, get a guy picked off of second, and whiff seven times.
Two of their hottest bats, Lastings Milledge and Andy LaRoche, came a cropper today, leaving eleven runners on base between them.
Jeff Karstens, working on short rest, only got into the third and left behind 2-0. Still, the committee approach did OK except for Donnie Veal, who was lit up for a four-spot in the fifth frame.
So the Bucs limp into the off season, finishing 2009 with a 62-99 slate.
-- Paul Maholm finally admitted that his scarred left knee was injured during his first start and bothered him during through June. He was seen with a brace on it occasionally, but still stuck to his story during the season.
He said that it affected his mechanics as he tried to find a comfortable way to pitch, and that his late season resurgence was due to diminished pain and a return to proper mechanics, getting the sink back in his ball.
-- Hey, at least the Pirates learned to catch the ball this year. The Pirates had 101 error-free games this year; the previous best was 99 games in 2007. The Pirates also have made the fewest errors (73) in MLB this season.
-- Bob Nutting will get to dig into his pocket again for June's player draft. The Pirates clinched the second spot, between Washington and Baltimore, after today's loss.
-- Matt Foreman of Baseball America on Pirate prospect OF'er Starling Marte of West Virginia:
"Marte is a plus-plus runner with a very good arm. Defensively, he's a solid player, but one manager had this to say about his defense — 'He makes some plays where you say 'Wow,' but then you look and see that he's got 800 errors, so you back off.' The numbers say he only had seven errors. At this point, Marte needs a little more mileage. He's still learning pitch recognition and plate discipline, though he did put up solid numbers."He added that he thought SS Chase D'Arnaud was on the bubble of being included in the Top Twenty Sally League prospects.