Until last night, we didn’t see it, but after watching another lackluster performance, we think the Pittsburgh Pirates have hit a wall. The Bucs are 17-40 since leading the NL Central on July 19.
Yeah, dust off the white flag, Pittsburgh Pirates fans. It looks like the Pirates are finished. It’s a damn shame, too. After watching former Dodger James McDonald struggle early in the game, it seemed obvious that McDonald wouldn’t be able to get his revenge against the team that traded him at the deadline last season. The fact that JMac found out about the trade on the ESPN crawl was well known around town.
Last night was the California Kid’s opportunity to avenge what he felt was a snub….but it didn’t happen.
The disrespect had to piss off the usually happy-go-lucky JMac. But the lanky right-hander saved his worst outing of the year for the most inopportune time. In his 30th start of the season, McDonald threw 76 pitches over just three innings and gave up five runs and was touched for seven hits.
The Bucs trotted out their 52nd player of the season last night when Matt Pagnozzi stepped to the plate. The fact he dropped a single into right wasn’t surprising – after all, we ripped the hell out of the Pirates for signing the catcher and putting him on the 40-man roster this week.
For Pagnozzi, being the 52nd player the Bucs have used this season sets a new team record. It’s also a telling sign of the season the Pirates had in 2011. It’s just impossible to compete with such roster turnover.
It didn’t help the cause that left-hander Ted Lilly was masterful. He fanned a pile of Buccos. Oh yeah, in performing Whiff City in front of the L.A. crowd, the Pirates set another team record – a new record for the most strikeouts in a season. (Crack the bubbly, bitch)
McDonald looked bad. (Did we say that five times yet?) JMac allowed a pile of runners, as did several Pirates pitchers. The score could have been worse if not for some big time pitches by the Bucs bullpen. Buccos hurlers got out of jams religiously throughout the game.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had this to say about McDonald:
The command wasn’t there. Obviously there might be some room for growth there (in regard to facing the Dodgers). He has never beeen in this spot before, and obviously he wanted to do much better tonight.