Rock bottom for the Pirates? Buccos lose 14-2.
They say you can’t turn things around or make a change until you’ve reached rock bottom.
If last night, er, scratch that. If this year for the Pirates isn’t rock bottom, then I don’t want to know what is.
For two nights in a row, the Pirates starting pitcher lasted just 3.1 innings. (As Rob Biertempfel, Pirates beat writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review pointed out last night;) It’ spooky how similar both Maholm and Morton’s starts ended.
Morton: 3.1 IP, 8 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP
Maholm: 3.1 IP, 8 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP
The Pirates just can’t find a way to win on the road this season. They are 13-52, the only team in the majors to not have atleast 21 road wins. The 14 straight losses on the road is quickly catching up to the record they set earlier in the season, with 17.
If we just keep playing hard and playing our game, things will turn around and we’ll start winning some ballgames,” Garrett Jones said. “We haven’t been getting the wins, but we’re playing hard-nosed baseball, hard all the way until the end.”
Paul Maholm has had a very rollercoaster season and last night was one of the worst starts this year. It didn’t start off well for Paul, giving up two runs in the first inning on three hits, a hit-batter; six men came to the plate and he threw 25 pitches. Maholm calmed down and pitched well until he hit a brick wall in the fourth inning. Seven runs scored on seven hits, 11 Cubs came to the plate and Maholm was pulled after 3.1 innings.
Overthrowing, not getting into rhythm, trying to do too much with it, it hurt,” said Maholm. “You look back at every game that’s kind of gone like this, and it’s been the exact same thing. I wish in the middle of it I can fix it, but you’ve got to take a step back and look at it and figure it out from there.”
The bleeding continued for Burres and Gallagher as they came in for relief. Combined they pitched 3.2 innings, gave up six runs on nine hits. The Pirates lost 14-2.
Carlos Zambrano went 5.1 innings, gave up one run, zero earned on four hits, walked four and struck out seven. Zambrano also hit a home run off Burress in the fifth inning, his 21st career homer –the most by a cubs pitcher and the most in the National League since Bob Gibson had 24.
The losses are not only effecting the players, but also the manager as well. After the game ended JR was spotted sitting in silence for a few minutes before heading to the clubhouse.
“They’re not the ones throwing the pitches,” said Paul Maholm, defending the team’s coaching staff. “It’s our job to go out there and win games and do what we’re supposed to. That can’t be on your mind. We go out there and play hard every day, and that’s all you can do.”
News and Notes:
- Pedro Alvarez last RBI (before last night’s) was on August 16th.
- The Cubs hit eight doubles during last night’s game.
- The Pirates have now allowed 10 + runs for the 13th time this season.
- Brad Lincoln –a hopefull Septemeber call-up– is still being bothered by neck spasms. He is currently on the minor league DL and hasn’t pitched since August 18th. Before the DL stint, Lincoln gave up just one run in his past 12 innings.
- Not since 1952 — when Pittsburgh pulled out just 19 wins away from home — has the club not reached the 20-win road benchmark (Via Pirates.com)
- The Pirates are on pace for a 53-109 record.
- In Major League baseball, no team hase lost more than 106 games since the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks went 51-111. (Via Pittsburgh-Post Gazette)
- For some happy news: Rookies on the rise:
Jose Tabata .312 AVG, 17 2B, 21 RBI –Since All-Star break .362 AVG, 3 HR, 15 RBI
Neil Walker .298 AVG, 20 2B, 44 RBI –Since All-Star break .319 AVG 4 HR, 32 RBI
- Evan Meek’s swelling on his right hand is continuing to subside and he should be able to pitch again within a few days. Meek said he doesn’t feel pain in his hand and can almost close his fist fully. On sunday, he couldn’t close his hand at all so he is making great progress.
“I’m waiting for the swelling to go down, and then to be able to grip the ball without having any pain, “ Meek said. Hopefully it’s going to be only a few days, and then I should be able to get back on the mound. It shouldn’t be that long.”
The Pirates don’t expect to put Evan Meek on the DL, the bullpen will have to make by with one man short.
- The Pirates will have Chris Snyder catch Charlie Morton’s next start on Saturday. John Russell said he repeatedly shook off Ryan Doumit during his start on Sunday.