The game last night reminded me just how far the Pittsburgh Pirates have come. We haven’t seen a game like that loss to the Phillies in quite some time.
The Phillies ‘Who Is That?’ lineup simply put it to the Bucs last night. Phillies vet Jimmy Rollins lead the charge when he hit a double down the first base line that Garrett Jones had no chance at pulling in and Juan Pierre Hurdled Rollins to third.
Jose Tabata continued to disappoint and gift wrapped a single for Hunter Pence letting the ball drop in front of him. Tabata threw home, but it was late. (The play injured catcher Rod Barajas, who stayed in the remainder of the inning, but was removed for Mike McKenry in the second.)
#VoteRuiz continued to destroy Major League pitching with a single toward Tabata and of course, Tabby attempted to gun Pence at third, because you know that’s the fundamentally obvious play. The throw was off and got past Pedro Alvarez.
Pedro tried to gun Ruiz who was attempting to move to second base.
Guess where the ball went? Back to the sender. Tabata fired the ball unsuccessfully home which of course, put Ruiz on third base.
As they should, the Phillies made the Bucs pay. Shane Victorino singled. Ruiz scored. Placido Polanco, who obviously was watching all of the madness, tried his luck and singled to Tabata.
Jose struck again, missing the cut off man in true slow pitch softball-esque style, as he tried to gun Victorino at third base.
Another error. Victorino scores.
And at the end of the first, it’s Phillies 4. Bob’s Bar 0
Jimmy Rollins crushed a two-run bomb off Bucs starter Jeff Karstens, that would widen the Phillies lead. Karstens was hit rather hard, but who knows how pissed off he was at the Bucs suddenly weak defense.
Tabata redeemed himself as a true softball slugger would with a solo homer, and the Bucs offense seemed to never be out of the game. The Pirates consistently got guys on base, but couldn’t sustain a rally whether it was hitting into double plays–Barmes and Walker, or getting punched out by Blanton who struck out eight.
Any sense of a rally ended late in the game when the Bucs top of the order went down one, two, three after Blanton was over 100 pitches.
Some people simply shrug their shoulders at a game like this. It’s frustrating for me to watch. The Pirates have actually been fielding rather well this season, and when the team puts up a shoddy defensive effort in a very winnable game against a struggling franchise, it shows me the team isn’t quite ready for prime time yet.
Or maybe the team simply needs to make some difficult decisions with players who aren’t playing well, or haven’t played consistently well this season. Heh, just a thought.