After watching the Tivo of the Pittsburgh Pirates game last night, I was disgusted. I immediately thought of the old advertisement posted above that showed how a mental and physical weakling could turn into a man with the help of Charles Atlas. It certainly looked like the Dodgers were the bully last night and rather than just ending it in the same game, there will be lingering effects. Zach Duke will be the one looked at in a poor light in the Pirates clubhouse.
But I believe the Pirates just aren’t a mentally tough team. It’s evident on the field and it sucks. I believe that Andrew McCutchen is the best player on the Pirates. So it blows my mind why his teammates failed to rally around him last night. Yeh, most of his teammates won’t be Pirates in the long term, but don’t you think the Pirates needed to do something as a team last night? A unified act that showed the Dodgers and the National League that things are changing in Pittsburgh?
I mean if watching the face of the franchise get punked doesn’t piss this Pirates team off, what possibly could? Really, I mean holy jumping jingle balls, what else do they have that could possibly motivate them any more than that one act in the fifth inning last night? What? What do you have?
I have nothing. Zero. Zip. Not a damn thing could make the team more fired up than that, and what was the Pirates reaction? Zero runs scored. Zero Dodgers plunked.
Jack Taschner throwing a heater at the backstop? Really? He doesn’t get an attaboy from me for that.
There is more than one way to make a team pay for screwing with the face of the franchise. What did the Pirates do with their bats after Ramon Ortiz put a fastball under McCutchen’s chin, then one at his head? Zero.
Ryan Church had a groudball single in the sixth. Followed by strikeouts from Ryan Doumit, Jeff Clement, and Lastings Milledge (a possessed swing on a slider way out of the zone.) It is nearly impossible to make a statement when three straight Pirates go down on strikes. It is deflating and was the key moment in the game for me. The Pittsburgh Pirates were called out and unfortunately, their offense is so poor right now, that for the rest of the game they were unable to answer the challenge of the Dodgers.
Bobby Crosby ripped the cover off the ball for a single to lead off the seventh. Ronny Cedeno hits the first pitch, the first freaking pitch, and grounded into a double play. Aki follows with yet another Aki like moment. I am over him.
Absolutely nothing happens in the Pirates eighth. LaRoche, McCutchen, and Church went 1-2-3.
In the ninth inning, Doumit hits a can of corn to CF. Clement strikes out again, on his Kryptonite, the off speed pitch. Lastings Milledge doubled, but was followed by a Delwyn Young groundout to shortstop.
Game Over. Pride. Passion. Pittsburgh Pirates? Nah, call Charles Atlas, because if you aren’t going to be passionate for the leader of your team, what will make you passionate?
Mike Burke of the Cumberland Times has a nice quote that fits very well today. “Baseball more than any other game, given the 162 games, is a game of mind over matter, because no matter what else it has, mind over matter is the best foot forward a team can have each day when it takes the field.”
“It’s a very exciting time to be a fan in Pittsburgh. I think we have a chance to compete for the NL Central championship.” Frank Coonelly
John Perrotto calls bullshit on that Frank Coonelly quote. Here is the link if your a fan of Perrottos’ work: No One’s Buying What Coonelly’s Selling.