Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can't Win 'Em All: photos from 5-20-10 vs. Milwaukee

Before the game started, the home base umpire caught a pitch on the side of his head.
He decided to stay in for the first inning, but was pulled shortly thereafter.
During that inning, the Pirates looked great. Maholm got a quick three outs, and we put up three runs on the board.

However, it took a very very long time to get a replacement home umpire prepared for the game. Witness the Pirates killing time.
Many baseball players chew tobacco, and as we see here, Steve Pearce is no exception.
Maholm had several bad innings once the game resumed. Long breaks like this are not good for pitchers; Maholm was able to get his head together eventually, but by that point the damage had been done.
This may look bad, but Andrew wasn't going to field this ball anyway.

This is why Jones gets so few home runs anymore. How you put any power behind a swing like this mystifies me. One has to hand it to Jones for being able to adapt, however. He still gets clutch hits and gets on base a lot.

The embarrassing strikeout face.

One hates to see this. Doumit has a history of injuries. Luckily, he was fine. Unluckily, we couldn't capitalize on his getting on base and lost.

As I write this, the Pirates are about to play the Reds. Pearce is on the DL, Laroche is still DTD, and Neil Walker will be playing third. He has shown good offensive potential throughout his first two appearances; let's hope it continues.

Also, Morton is the starting pitcher. I remember when he was the starting pitcher who raised the most concerns in my mind; unfortunately, Ohlendorf has now assumed that role. Nevertheless, I remain cautiously optimistic.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday May 19: vs. the Brewers

Coming off of their first winning road trip since 2007 , the Pirates were able to keep the momentum going by defeating the Brewers at PNC park for the first time since who knows when.
Pittsburghers hate this time. Braun may be a great player, but he comes across as a prima donna. Hence the nickname "Cryin' Ryan". Tonight he made an ill-advised attempt to steal third base after having successfully stolen second and got tagged out. Beautiful.
Burres had another solid start. Here we see him strike Prince Fielder out on three pitches.

Steve Pearce had a bizarre game. Despite getting an error that cost us at least one run and an additional poor play, he went 3 for 4, which is just about the only way to make up for it.
Holding the baserunner to first.

Doumit awaits a pop up.

It was a joy to see the Pirates get runs in the 7th inning. When the Pirates win, it tends to be as a result of solid starting pitching, early offense and our stellar bullpen's ability to get strike outs. Apparently the Buccos are 12-1 if leading in the sixth.
It's a good thing we won, because John Russel bizarrely chose to pinch hit Jeff Clemente against a lefty pitcher with the bases loaded. Pirates pitcher Burres had already driven in a tying run earlier in the game; between a choice of Clemente and Burres I think I would have stuck with our pitcher. Andy Laroche also seemed puzzled; here we see him immediately after Clemente's fly-out. I don't think it's a stretch to say that he looks pissed.

An unfortunate play. Looks like Cedeno's got the out, but he lifted his left leg off the bag to make the catch.
Another strong performance by Lopez, whose era is around 2.50 right now.
Andy Laroche when the game was (clearly) still on the line.
Milledge avoids getting hit in the head.

The Brewers attempting to come to terms with the very real possibility of losing this game and going 0 for 9.

Laroche conferences with Pearce on the way to the dugout.
I know the world has been praying for a reincarnation of John Holmes; their wish has apparently been granted in the form of a Brewers relief pitcher named John Axford.

Another brilliant appearance by Dotel; this was to be his ninth save of the season.
Braun shortly before his embarrassing out at second.
At this point, I can only assume that Braun thought he could get the drop on Laroche and outrun him to third.
He was wrong.