We're not gonna bore you with too many details today. Heck, with Charlie Morton on the mound, Green Weenie pulled on his sneaks and took a jog through Schenley Park as game time approached. Hey, it doesn't take much to turn a blogger into a jogger.
When he got home, he popped open a cold reward, hit the clicker, and guess what? - it was the the fourth inning and the Pirates were already down 8-3 with Brian Burres pitching. Some things never change (and worse, GW got have easily gotten a couple more miles in!)
Morton's line was 3-1/3 innings, nine hits, eight runs (seven earned; ol' Charlie threw away a pick-off attempt), a walk, two K's, and one bomb. Get rid of one Ian Snell, trade for another.
The Pirate bullpen worked perfectly today, unlike yesterday when they had a three run lead to hold...and eventually blow.
To add injury to insult, Evan Meek, who was considered too valuable by JR to work a tie game last night, came in to mop up in the eighth and was knocked out of the game - literally - when Ryan Braun drilled a liner off his body.
The trainers carted him off the field, supporting his right forearm (it was later reported that he bruised his hand), and he's expected to miss a few days. Joel Hanrahan must be feeling awfully lonely about now.
The Bucs actually enjoyed an early 2-0 lead thanks to Neil Walker's first inning homer. Dewey added another in the fourth, and DY a third in the seventh; the last two were solo shots. Overall they mustered eight hits, stranded nine, and were 0-for-6 with RISP.
We're beginning to wonder about JR, too. He's making some strange calls regarding bunts, platooning, and the bullpen; maybe Joe Kerrigan and Gary Varsho were too by-the-book for his liking.
Oh, well. The Bucs will hop into a bus and cruise into the Windy City; maybe Wrigley will be the answer to their road woes.
Paul Maholm will start the Cubbie series against Carlos Zambrano.
-- With Charlie Morton's loss, the Pirates now have five 10-game losers for first time since 1954. The Bucs went 53-101 that season and their pitchers were Max Surkont (9-18); Vern Law (9-13); Bob Friend (7-12); Dick Littlefield (10-11), and Paul LaPalme (4-10). George O'Donnell and Jale Theis came close; they both finished with 3-9 slates.
For the 2010 Bucs, Paul Maholm is 7-12, Zach Duke 6-12, Jeff Karstens 2-10, Charlie Morton 1-10, and Ross Ohlendorf 1-11.
In fact, of 26 pitchers to climb the hill for Pittsburgh during the 2010 campaign, five have ERAs of 10+, eleven have ERAs between 5-10, five are in the fours, two are in the upper threes, and a trio - Evan Meek (2.11), Chris Resop (2.70 as a Pirate) and Javier Lopez (2.79) had sub-3 ERAs. The team ERA is 5.08, last in the NL and a full run over the league average. They also give up the most hits per nine innings (10) and have the fewest K's per nine (6).
Not that the hitting has been any better. The Pirates have had 20 position players bat this year. Of the 20, fourteen have hit .250 or less (and five of them under .200), four have hit .251-.280, Neil Walker is hitting .298, and Jose Tabata is batting .312. The team average is .239, last in the NL, as is the runs scored total of 441.
-- The Pirate 2010 series with Milwaukee is done; the Bucs went 5-13 against the Brew Crew. Today's loss is the 13th straight road defeat for Pittsburgh.