About a month ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals with a walk off sacrifice fly. Small ball won on that day. In fact, small ball had forced a three way tie in the NL Central.
What a difference a month makes.
Last night, small ball lost.
Sorry, but it came down to this situation for us. Xavier Paul gets
gunned down at second base a stolen base.
Up comes Matt Diaz.
We have to think that Diaz was only focused on hitting the ball to the right side and moving XP to third base. He was successful. A million dollar productive out maker.
The concept worked a month ago, when the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen was Hurrican Irene inducing lights out innings, but no more. It’s a tired strategy.
The concept is a sacrifice fly ties the game. Heh, it worked a month ago right? Thus with one out in the eighth inning, Ronny Cedeno stepped to the plate. A fly ball ties the game. Small ball is sooo…..wait, Cedeno didn’t get it done. Two outs.
The game was basically over for us. Ryan Doumit tried to tease us, but it failed. So is it Clint Hurdle’s fault? Hell, we don’t know. Perhaps it’s just a mentality Diaz has developed this year as he has zero home runs, but wouldn’t a base hit work also?
We hate small ball. But does Hurdle have much choice I guess is the question? We can’t say Hurdle orders the productive out mentality, but remember it is a Hurdle commandment.
Electric Stuff didn’t have it tonight. Morton gave up five runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings pitched. The Bucs offense scored four runs in the third and fourth innings, but Morton couldn’t hold the 4-3 lead.
We were impressed with Chris LeRoux. He wasn’t dominant, but the hard throwing right hander did strikeout three Cardinals in 2.2 scoreless innings. You might dismiss our cheerleading, but when the Bucs need to go 20-12 to reach .500, the small things (not small ball) are going to win out.
The big problem for the Bucs was once small ball had failed, the Cardinals kept coming. In the bottom of the eighth after an intentional walk to Albert Pujols put Cardinals on first and second, Tony Watson allowed a three-run bomb to Matt Holliday.
That’s big ball.
After the game, Hurdle used the term cement mixer in describing a Pirates meatball. The small things make us laugh these days.