The fifth inning last night was putrid for the Pittsburgh Pirates and not just the baserunning. The Bucs have no options at second base. Well, actually they do, but he is busy murdering baseballs at AAA.
The baserunning gaffes were gut churning. Lastings Milledge and Bobby Crosby ran directly into outs after infield groundballs were grabbed by the Brewers pitcher Chris Naverson and shortstop Alcides Escobar. Both Pirates players were easily thrown out in hideous run downs for the first and second outs of the inning. Ship sunk.
I was thinking after Milledge ripped the ball down the line and then got Ryan Braun to make it into a double……
“Tom, how nice would it have been to have Neil Walker at the plate right now?” (Deep breath. Snap back to reality, you know that kid murders baseballs and has that attitude problem.)
The Pittsburgh Pirates second base production has been horrendous. So we were left with Bobby Crosby at the plate, Milledge on second and nobody out. Pirates fans will spend today arguing about whether they should have given up the out and had Crosby bunt Milledge to third.
Now, I am not a fan of playing small ball in the fifth inning. Girls state championship softball playoffs? Definently. But not my choice for pro baseball. With a hot stick like Walker at the plate, perhaps we wouldn’t even need to be having this ridiculous discussion. But when Bobby Crosby is putting up numbers like those listed below and the Bucs decide to bat him second, and let him swing away, perhaps a bunt wouldn’t have been a bad idea.
It sucks that, for whatever reason, Aki Iwamura has decided not to play up to his proven abilities in Pittsburgh. He is hitting the ball into ground, his line drives are down, NL pitchers are force feeding him breaking balls and he is consistently behind in the count, he is overweight, has a knee brace, has an interpreter, and a fancy albino annaconda glove. So Pirates fans are left with the option of Crosby. This makes me wanna puke.
The trade for Aki looked like it made sense at the time, but Aki has not lived up to his side of the deal. A negative 9.6 VORP tells the tale. VORP really means value. Do you suck or not? Aki is playing so poorly that it’s best he never even sees the field. Perhaps Neal and the dream team were duped. God I trust not, but these numbers tell a different story.
Bobby Crosby can make all the focused, intense, Ron Jeremy faces he cares to in the dugout after makes bad play after bad play for the Bucs. He has a .281 OBP. Freaking sad! The Pirates need somebody playing second base that can hit the damn baseball. Preferably that can happen this year. Hell, maybe this weekend would be nice.
Why not just pull a King and His Court and not have a second baseman?