Two games in. Two losses
The Pirates lost 2-4 at the hands of Atlanta on Thursday. The Pirates have put up miniscule hits these past two days, recording just four against the Braves. Compared to the five hit by Atlanta, I guess it should not be too big of a talking point.
Two of the Bucs reaching base safely were new additions. Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby.
Church got the start in right field, but should not be too commended for his effort. He struck out twice while getting his single in three at bats. Over the weekend I called in to a local sports talk station. The guys were talking about off-season accquisitions by the Pirates and failed to mention Church. I chimed in expressing my interest in him and that he could be a central part to our team. They agreed and complimented me, a good feeling considering I am not a frequent caller to these type of shows. I normally just like to sit back and listen. The show was Sunday during an intermission of the USA-Canada hockey game and I was lucky enough to be directed straight to the show. I did watch the game and if anybody else did I hope you were listening intently at the very beginning of the first period. Announcer Doc Emerick dropped a Pirates mention saying “I bet the Pittsburgh Pirates are glued intently to this game.” Perplexed I was, but later found out Emerick is a huge Pirates fan. The New Jersey Devils announcer earned major points in my media heroes book.
Crosby had a decent day at the plate. With two outs in third he ripped a single through the infield bringing in a run. It was the first tally mark of the afternoon for the Pirates. It was the only noise he would make in his three at bats.
Andy LaRoche hit the first homerun of the Spring Training season for Pittsburgh. His solo shot in the 7th was the only other productive at bat in the contest.
The underlying storyline heading into this ballgame was the matchup against former Pirate centerfielder Nate McLouth.
The 2008 Gold Glove winner was the first Pirate traded in last summer’s infamous fire sale. A shocking move to the city of Pittsburgh and the entire baseball world as McLouth just inked a long term deal with the club in the offseason.
In an interview with Jennifer Langosch Nate announced his disdain for the Pirates organization. Here is a sample of what he said.
It feels good to be in an organization this year that’s going to be in a playoff hunt and not have to talk about ‘We hope years down the road …’ and things like that. It’s good to have that feeling in Spring Training.
It was tough, but I was kind of lucky that I was the first one to get sent out and I didn’t have to deal with it the whole summer.
If I was in Nate’s position, I certainly would be a bit ticked and I understand what he is saying. At the time I was unsure of the trade, but it can pay big dividends for the Pirates. We got a starting pitcher (Charlie Morton) and a centerfield prospect (Gorkys Hernandez) out of the deal. It makes me happy theat McLouth is not down playing that situation. He truly wanted to be a Pirate and felt betrayed by the organization. Some say it is still a stupid move, but it really was not.
Our outfield now is one of the youngest and most talented in the National League. McLouth refused to move to left field when Andrew McCutchen would be promoted and that may have pre-empted the trade in the first place. McLouth’s numbers also dropped considerably when he was in the ATL.
In 85 games with the Braves, McLouth batted a mediocre .256 and hits 11 home runs, bringing his total up to 20 for the year. His on base percentage dropped a handful of points from the year before and his OPS was .773, the second lowest in his five year career.
It is hard to tell what the short and long term effects of the trade will be. The duo the Pirates recieved from Atlanta has yet to pan out. In sort of a fitting manner, it was Morton that started the game for Pittsburgh. He had control issues walking three batters (including McLouth).
photo credits: piratereport.com, coxnewsweb.com
Baltimore is up next! Bucs-O’s Friday at 7p.m.
- 2008 Gold Glove winner
- 2008 All-Star
- 46 doubles in 2008
- 2008 Roberto Clemente Award winner
- Allegheny River splash ball
Shock. I was in complete and udder shock upon hearing the news that Nate McLouth was traded to the Atlanta Braves. Our cornerstone player, fan favorite and all around best player has been dealt away. I just don’t get it.
I’m all for improving the team. I want more than anything for the Pirates to win. I just felt lied to and dissrespected as a Bucco fan for the event that just occured. GM Neil Huntington, pictured to the left of Nate, claimed that he was a part of our winning future. He was a building block for the Pittsburgh turnaround, Not so much anymore. Gorkys Hernanadez, Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke will now be part of that glorious future. Ever heard of them? Me niether.
The Pirates play third fiddel in the city of Pittsburgh. The Steelers come first, the Pens come second, the Pirates come third. Its almost like the world has been turned upside down in the Steel City when the baseball team is brushed off. Now that the most recognizable player has been traded again, who can the casual fans identify with? They abided in Jason Bay-traded away. Brian Giles-traded away. Aramis Rameriz-traded away. While Bay, Giles, and Rameriz were traded away for younger talent, money was also in issue in each of the trades. McLouth is affordable. He was signed through 2011 making just in the low millions. WHile he was probably traded awya for upper-level prospects, we have enough. I guess you can never be too cautious about the future, but when management claims to want to win NOW, how is this move justified? I just don’t see it, and if I can’t see it, the casual fans of Pittsburgh surely wont be able to either.
Well Nate I guess Green Day said it best…
IT’S SOMETHING UNPREDICTABLE, BUT IN THE END ITS RIGHT…
I HOPE YOU HAD THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE