With every loss the Pirates find a new and exciting way to reinvent the word 'Suck'. This latest was no exception. With a decent outing from Paul Maholm they ruined it with unbelievably bad defense in the third inning. It started off in the third when with a runner on first base Jack Wilson (who did have a spectacular play the inning prior) muffed a double play ball. The next batter with runners on first and third hit one sharply down the line to Andy LaRoche. Andy, seeing the runner on third break for home threw the ball to the catcher, instead of the smart play (the double play) or chasing down the base runner and catching him in a rundown. Everyone was safe ... bases loaded. It was then redemption time as LaRoche got a double play giving us fans more false hope that we may make it through a mess without any damage. Wrong! Pirate Baseball is imminent at that point! Paul Maholm throws a wild pitch to allow the runners to advance to second and third. Then a ball hit sharply into right field had Garret Jones pull up last second, letting the ball fall safely in, on a ball he just had to stick his glove out on to catch. Two score and McCutchen is unable to throw out the batter at third. Then one of the most amazing plays I've seen happened (it was number one on Sports Center top plays). The next batter lined a pitch into right field. Jones made a running attempt, missed, the ball went off his glove, off his leg and kicked back towards second base in the air where a diving Delwyn Young dove and caught the ball barehanded. Unbelievable! So unbelievable that the second base umpire ruled it hit the ground. Thus the runner on third scores. Luckily for the Buccos Young was paying attention and still managed to catch the batter off base for the third out. So all in all there were 5 Pirate miscues by 4 players leading to 3 runs. Somehow they were only charged with one error. WTF? Do they just feel bad for us now? Lets play scorekeeper. The Wilson flub. Error number 1. The LaRoche miscue. He didn't misplay the ball he just made a stupid and piss poor decision failing to get a guaranteed out and a possible double play. All runners were safe. We'll call that error number 2. The Maholm wild pitch. He got charged with that but for the sake of this argument we'll call it error number 3. The Garrett Jones spectator play (where he watches the ball drop in front of him). Two Runs Score ... Error number 4. The Garret Jones kick to Delwyn Young where the third runner scores ... this is a debate. If this IS NOT an out as according to the umpire then YOU HAVE TO give Jones an error for dropping a ball that basically hit him in the chest. It was an out that was screwed up by the umpire so I guess we (like the scorekeeper) can give Jones a pass. But the bottom line is if he catches it there is no run scored and there is nothing to debate. He messed up. He dropped it. He deserves an error for that one too. Error number 5. Five Errors (okay 4 and one wild pitch) in one inning. Yep ... that's Bucco baseball.
One last thought: Steve Pierce starting at first? Brandon Moss starting in the outfield? Seriously? Does anybody still think John Russell makes up his own starting lineup or have you figured it out that the front office is telling him who to play and where each game? What manager would actually put those guys in the same starting lineup consistently? Certainly not one who wanted to win so he could keep his job which is the position every Pirate manager is in.
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