Per my twitter I predicted a sweep in the Astros-Pirates series.
I recieved just that, just not as I predicted. In what was dubbed a “Battle of the Basement” the Astros outscored the Pirates 14-5 to deliever in a three game sweep.
Chalk up the broom company franchises to 11. Yep, the Pirates have been swpet 11 times this season.
Not to quote Rascal Flatts but “what hurts the most, was being so close.”
Close as in close to turning the corner. The Bucs had a great four game series against a much powerful team in the Philies over the weekend. Not that Pittsburgh had a chance to move up in the division but to be swept by a divisional opponent, especially the one that is in a race out of the cellar is anything but good.
The Brewers are up next.
I hate the Brewers much thanks to this man.
No that is not a “***** Eye for the Straight Guy” cast member it is Milwaukee’s own Ryan Braun. His attitude, swagger and downright slummy-ness overshawdows his decent looks and stellar talent. He has called out the Pirates for no good reason on many seperate occasions.
The Pirates and Brewers have had a budding rivalry over the past three or so seasons. Always picking fights and being competitive. Alas, The Brew Crew almost always have the upper hand especially in a 20-0 beatdown of the Bucs earlier in the season in which I could say I had the pleasure of watching live.
To release my disdain of the Brewers my buddies Marc and Andrew assisted me in a ceremonial ritual that would hopefully send up bad omens to those residing in Miller Park.
I did enjoy that hat. It was comfortable and was a great companion to me on the softball field. However, I think we put it to much greater use. I can only hope it pays off and the Pirates can squeak out a win against the hated Brew Crew this weekend.
20…..to zero. That was not a Packers-Steelers score where the extra point was blocked. That was a Pirates-Brewers score. It was the worst loss in the history of the Pirates franchise.
And I was there to witness it.
Some friends and I came to the park on a whim on Thursday. Some of my classes were canceled due to a journalism conference my professors attended in Baltimore. I couldn’t think of a better way to sepend my semi-day off than at PNC Park. Outside the stadium it looked like many others had the same idea.
There was a packed line for tickets. Whether it was the gorgeous spring day, playing hookey or killing time before the Penguins playoff game later in the day fans flocked to PNC Park. At least thats what it seemed like on the outside.
13,634 fans actually turned up, which is abysmal. Maybe we as fans deserved the pain that would be bestowed upon us for the next three and a half hours.
The Brewers looked like a team filled with baseball legends. They treated the Pirates like Little Leaguers teeing off for hit after hit which turned into run after run.
Four homeruns were hit in the ballgame. All off the bats of the Brew Crew. Jim Edmonds, George Kottarras, Prince Fielder and public enemy number one in Pittsburgh, Ryan Braun all blasted bombs into the bleachers.
The Pirates were swept by the Brewers and Pittsburgh natives let other Pittsburgh natives know it.
I just had to laugh at the guy who was rubbing the broom in every Pirate fan’s face around him, but really, what the heck? This is why I can’t be a diehard Penguin fan. I bet this guy did not cheer for the Pirates in the late 90’s early 2000’s. Yet they start winning and hes a full-fledged fan. Give it a few years, the Pirates are competitive, he will be back with avengence in a Pedro Alvarez t-shirt.
After that game however, how can I be so sure that my Bucs will ever be competitive? In that Brewers series the Pirates were outscore 36-1. The Pirates have a Majors worst 7.35 team ERA. More than one run higher than any other team. The offense is below NL average in most categories across the diamond according to Post Game host Rocco DeMaro.
There is no light at the end of the tunnel it seems. Watching that game hurt me, the few hundreds who joined me to see the final out, and 25 men who donned that Pirate jersey.
Reliever Brendan Donnelly said they should be ashamed to wear the black and gold. I can’t help but agree. Starting pitcher Daniel McCutchen cried while being interviewed. Outfielder Ryan Church simply said “I got nothin’, I’m embarrased.”
We all are Ryan, we all are.
I’m not letting go of that ticket stub. The worst loss record stood for 100 years. I will be sure to tell my grandkids about that day, the day I witnessed the worst loss in Pirates history. My grandkids won’t believe there were actually bad years as a Pirates fan, whilethey are celebrating a World Series dynasty.
Remember at the beginning of the season when I documented the resurgence of former Pirate Kip Wells? Wells was one of my least favorite Buccos of the past decade and it seemed that he always wanted out of Pittsburgh so he could have a shot at success. He believed he was bigger than he was and took his cocky act around the league. He has been a journey man reliever and began the year in Washington. He has since been signed by the Reds and actually started today’s game against the visiting Bucs.
Prior to the game I wanted nothing more than to have the Buccos make an example out of this guy. While no current Pirate players were around when Kip was on the Pittsburgh club, it still would have made an impact for fans, loyal fans, like myself.
However, as John Steinbeck once said in his most famous book…”the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Kip didn’t just go out and pitch wel, he was fairly dominant. He went 6 innings only allowing 2 hits and 2 earned runs. It was pretty depressing. The Pirates only mustered up 5 hits. 4 of which were by Ronny Cedeno and Jason Jaramillo. The other hit came by way of McCutchen. No not Andrew, the potential rookie of the year, in fact the other hit came off the bat of Daniel, Daniel McCutchen.
He had his teeth gritted and fire in his eyes. It was his major league debut. He did manage one hit-off his own bat. On the other hand, he gave up 5 hits, and 3 earned runs. In just his second major league pitch he surrendered a homerun to leadoff Cincinatti batter Drew Stubbs. After that things were looking better. He settled down and found his groove. He also put the Pirates in a position to win the game, something they haven’t been used to.
Its been a while since I last wrote an entry and when I last left off the Bucs were looking good. They were strong at the plate and recieving excellent starting pitching.
Then they headed to Milwaukee.
The Pirates were swept over the weekend by the Brewers. The games were not totally ugly losses but the Brewers always have the Pirates number at Miller Park.
Like always Ryan Braun killed the Bucs with his bat. He reached base every game against the Bucs and hit a homerun, something he always seems to do when playing against Pitt.
I post this picture amidst my hurls of hatred but I figured my female readers may appreciate it. I’ve always voiced my dislike of the man. No doubt hes a great player, I just don’t appreciate his style of play on and off the field.
The Pirates have lost 21 straight games at Miller Park. Its downright disheartening, but then again so is the Pirates record away from home. They are 18-47 outside of PNC Park. You might as well make it 18-48 as the Reds are downing them here in game 2 of the doubleheader. Brandon Phillips smashed a home run and Cincinatti holds a 4-0 lead. No matter what is to come…LETS GO BUCS
The city of Pittsburgh is usually a peaceful place. With an array of architectural landmarks and a breathtaking skyline, the Steel City beems with pomp and pride.
However when the baseball team takes the field, the city is filled with doom and gloom and nerves that hinder the inner momento that is the Pittsburgh Pirates.
What looked to be a turning of the tides the Pirates got out on the Brewers in the bottom of the first scoring a run thanks to a Freddy Sanchez bomb. The Brewers would get that run back in the top of the 2nd. The 4th, 6th and 8th innings were blown wide open by the Crew as starter Ian Snell got rocked and the bullpen couldn’t help in the least.
The pitching staff was able to hold Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun hitless, but the lower part of their lineup stepped up and got the job done. Former Pirate Jason Kendall scored a run, hit a single and was hit by a pitch. Corey Hart scored three runs with a pair of doubles.
The Pirates were able to muster up 5 runs over the span of the nine inning game but couldn’t come through in clutch situations.
First baseman Adam LaRoche was 0-5 and made the final out in each of his at-bats. Nyjer Morgan has been slipping as of late. His average his falling sharply and he failed to do what a leadoff man does, get on base. He did get a single but also grounded out twice, popped out and struck out swinging on a nasty pitch.
The one bright spot that stood out was bench player Delwyn Young. DY has not been given a legitimate shot with the Bucs but he proved his case for more playing time when he nailed a pinch hit double to right center field. The rocket that rolled to the wall scored two runs and set up a failed Pittsburgh comeback.
The Pirates have now fallen to 12-14 and have lost 7 of their last 8. The losing streak is also in tact as the Brewers have downed the Pirates in the last 17 games. The Bucs won’t even have a chance to redeem themselves until teh middle of summer when the Brewers come to town at the end of July.
At least one Bucco knew how to send a message to those cheese-headed, sausages loving, beer drinking, Milwaukee Brewers
Personally, I can not take it anymore. The Pirates have dropped 16 in a row to the boys from Milwaukee. It’s getting old; it’s getting ridiculous. With the 7-4 come from behind victory the brewers showed once again that they own the Pirates.
Ryan Braun did not get the start in this game and I was pretty excited that their slugger was Missing In Action from the starting lineup. Little did I know he would come back to bite me in the butt. In the 8th inning who else but Braun steps up to the plate and delievers a bloop single that scores two runs and tied the game at 3. Whats more dissapointing is that the ball should have very easily been caught. It floated up in the air for what seemed like forever. When it left his bat I was pumped up for a routine fly ball and an inning ending putout. However, Brandon Moss had other plans as he slowed up and played the ball on a hop. Now I’m no major league rightfielder any mean. Heck, I couldn’t even play for my high school team but I’ll tell you what in little league, I hustled. I wanted to catch everything when I patrolled the outfield. Seeing Moss play the ball way to conservatively makes me question his motivation, drive and also his talent.
He was a bit too jolly for my liking. He did’nt hit a home run or even get good wood on the ball to solidfy a good hit. Just by sure luck was he able to tie the game.
Now the girls of Wisconsin and sports writers across America will gush over his “clutch” performance and steady hands that helped win the game for the Brewers.
What makes matters worse is what he said after the game.
“Unbelievable game,” said Braun, “I was not anticipating playing, that’s for sure. It’s kind of a crazy day, something I’ve never experienced before.”
Blah, blah, blah come on man get over yourself. To make matters worse apparently Braun has never been hit by a pitch either. In last weeks series against the Buccos, Braun didn’t have enough kleenex to dry his tears after he was beaned by a pitch from Jeff Karstens.
“It’s rare for major league pitchers to miss by that much with the fastball,” Braun said. “We play them about 17 more times. Tell Mr. Selig, we’ll see what happens. It’ll be interesting.” I think Bud has better things to worrsy about man. While if I was Karstens I’d love to send a message to hot head Mc. Gee up there but he is a major league pitcher and he does know better. Braun didn’t stop there with the whining, also saying “that kid should know better.” Referring to Karstens.
Now according to pirates.com, Karstens was born on 9/24/1982 making him 26 years old. Braun on the other hand was born on 11/17/1983. Just a tad younger than Jeff. By calling Karstens a “kid” was a belt-lining blow to a fellow major league collegue. He made himself look like like spoiled, frat boy “kid.”
If you haven’t been able to tell I have lost a lot of respect for the Brewers organization. I’ve kind of admired the franchise over the past few years. I’ve been to Miller Park, it is fantastic. The structure is beautiful and the atmosphere is grand. The current and vintage logo is cool with its bold striking royal blue color. And the players themselves are fun. The orgainzation produced and developed their own young talent and groomed them into premier ballplayers. When a piece or two was needed they go out and add a fixture that is solid and contributes to the team. I’ve supported them in their playoff run and idolized their model of a small market team. Even one of my favorite baseball movies “Mr. 3000” starring the late Bernie Mac is a Milwaukee item.
However, the cocky attitude, untucking of the shirts and overall bad mouthing of the Pirates shows the lack of class and respect this team has for a fellow MLB club.
But in the end it is up to the Bucs to right their own ship. It is a pivital game tonight. Ian Snell takes the mound looking to avoid a 17th straight loss to the Brew Crew. Its historically fitting because the Pirates are also on the brink of their 17 straight losing season. A win tonight would be a nice turnaround as the Bucs would end the Crew streak and reach the .500 plateau once again. Who knows maybe it will even avoid the losing season streak come September, but once again. WHO KNOWS.
Taking a page out of Pedro Martinez’s book-We just have to tip our hats and call the Brewers our daddy.
PHOTO CREDIT: Braun-AP Photos
Make no doubt about it, I think it is a beautiful stadium. As much as I dislike retractable roofs, Miller Park makes me rethink that harsh assumption.
Last season the Bucs were 0-6 in the city of Sausages. For those playing at home, thats winless. Everyone remembers the walk-off grand slam by this guy…
RYAN BRAUN. The date was September 25, 2008. WIth the Brewers within striking distance of a playoff spot, which they captured, a pivital games was played against the Pirates. In dramatic fashion Braun belted a pitch thrown by Jesse Chavez into the upper deck in Miller Park’s right field. The 450-foot blast gave the Brewers momentum into the postseason.
Hopefully, this year will be a different story. Reliever Jesse Chavez is performing well out of the Pirate pen and hopes to leave last year’s granny in the past. Chavez has an era of just over one and in eight innings pitched he has struck out four batters.
The pitching staff has a whole has been monumental for the Bucs. Jeff Karstens takes the hill in game one on Monday. He has an era of 3.60, while Joe Kerrigan and John Russel have followed Karstens pitch count closely they will need him to go deep into games to remain effective.
With the promotion of Evan Meek to replace the injured Craig Hansen the bullpen will also have to step up to keep the Bucs in games.
PHOTO CREDIT: dailytimes.com