Well, we wish we had something other than the same ol', same ol' to bring you. But Zach Duke got lathered again, and the Bucs went down in flames to their nemesis, the Milwaukee Brewers (or is it the reincarnation of the 1927 Yankees?), by a 17-3 score.
Duke had little command, worked behind in the count, and was up in the zone. Four innings later he was gone, having given up eight runs on nine hits, four walks, and a beaning of Prince Fielder, which we're sure will be repaid in kind when the Pirates least expect it.
Six of the runs were scored on two-out hits by the catcher Gregg Zaun and pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Zaun was 0-for-16 against lefties; Duke walked him once and then served him a bases clearing double, and Gallardo, well, is the pitcher.
In the eighth, Octavio Dotel gave up four runs in 1/3 inning to drive his ERA to 12.27, and Brendan Donnelly gave up a grand salami in his 2/3's of a frame.
The Pirates banged out eight hits, drew four walks, and were recipients of three Brew Crew boots, but a 1-for-11 RISP showing doomed any early effort to make the game interesting.
These guys are in serious disarray right now and know it; you can see it in the way they carry themselves on the field and in the dugout. Maybe a game where the pitchers actually keep them hanging around for a few innings will perk their spirits up.
And there's no staff relief for a while; Ross Ohlendorf is still probably three starts away, although the estimated arrivals of Brad Lincoln and Kevin Hart may be fast tracked, and soon.
We wonder how hot the management seats are becoming. Neal Huntington can't be in the most secure of positions, and when the GM is under pressure, it doesn't bode well for the coaching staff. We'll see how long it takes before that dynamic comes into play.
-- The beat guys reports that Jeff Karstens was called up to pitch tomorrow's game, and John Raynor, the Rule 5 outfielder, was DFA'ed. That's the second position player DFA'ed for pitching just eighteen games into the season. You'd think somebody in management would notice that there are already players on the 40-man roster eligible to come up instead of just dropping organizational depth.
But hey, as long as Indy's competitive, we guess it's OK.