Game 132 – Pirates Losing Grip on Cellar Race

What is more important to you as a Pirate fan..

  1. Climbing out of the NLCD cellar by the end of the year? or..
  2. Remaining in the hunt for MLB’s cellar for better 2007 draft picks?

I don’t know.. I’d rather see us lose a ton between now and October 1st but somehow I get the idea that the guys in the clubhouse have a different agenda.

Not that that is a bad agenda, mind you.

But it seems that every move the org is making the players are moving in the opposite direction.

The org has a three-day weekend almost all sold out with 3 skyblasts and they lose every game;

The org has photo fan fest and the team takes the worst beating of the year in front of the fans that come out to see them;

The organization puts Jack Wilson, Joe Randa, Jeromy Burnitz, Tom Gorzelanny, Mike Gonzalez, and Nate McLouth on the pine, and they start winning.

The Cubs? They just keep losing as if their clubhouse has decided to pull a 2005 Pirates Mac number on Dusty Baker. The Nats? They keep losing too.. as do the Rays.

If we aren’t careful, we are going to fall from the 2cd draft pick in 2007 to the 5th and, God forbid, if we happen to play too good the rest of the way out this year, we could fall to the 7th – 11th pick in the draft, as there are 5 more teams all losing like crazy right now. Falling 2cd to 4th would be a huge blow as we would most likely lose our chance to get a true, coveted #1 starter-type we need so bad. Falling 2cd to 7th would be devastating.

Funny, isn’t it, that the guys propelling the wins in these games are the ones that will be helped the most with the better draft pick.. our youth, who figure to be around for another 5+ years.

Anyways, the Pirates hammered a Cubs AA pitcher by the name of Angel Guzman last night. He reminded me a lot of Ian Snell in 2005.. little confidence with good stuff. You can tell he will be a good arm one day but he just doesn’t have the maturity right now to be handed the ball every 5 days. Ten of the first fifteen balls put in play off Guzman went for a hit.. all singles and one home run for a .667 batting average on balls in play.

That is a remarkable change from the April game Guzman pitched against us at Wrigley. We hammered Guzman then too but nowhere like tonight. The difference between the two games was this umpiring crew we have right now.

Someone please explain to me how we ended up with two series covering 7 days with these clowns umpiring the games? They are HORRIBLE. I can put up play after play after play where they made bad calls in every single game. And not just bang-bang plays either – I mean absolutely eye-popping bad calls.

Tonight for instance, in the 4th inning Bynum walked and stole second and was called safe. On replay, not only was he out, but he was out by a country mile and the umpire had his nose right in the play. Obviously Dreckman needs glasses (but we noticed that the other night, didn’t we?)

Not to be outdone, Ron Darling had to add his own blown call for the game when Pagen hit a hard grounder to Bautista in the 5th who took it off his body, regrouped, and threw hard to get Pagen at first. Darling called him safe. What made this call so bad was that typically bang-bang plays go to the defense but Pagen was out by more than a step and Darling still called him safe.

Tracy and his coaching staff lost it and Bautista was fit to be tide as the official scorer rang him up for an error — I assume because it would have been only the 2cd hit of the night off Snell.

The Cubs dugout was all over home plate ump Guccione all night long as he had a strike zone the size of a pea. But he is well known for that.. and he called it the same for both sides. Barrett, the Cubs catcher, refused to accept Guccione’s zone which caused Guzman a lot of grief on top of the fact his pitches were straight as an arrow and his slider didn’t slide much.

And how about Snell – picking up his 12th win on a 90+ loss team. Not too shabby.

— Tidbits —

Posse828_1 The Posse de Perez continue to show up at Pirates games chanting their Ole! chant honoring their fallen from Pirates grace hero Oliver Perez. (click the picture for a larger view)

Tonight they could be heard clearly over the FSN broadcasters who curiously seemed to want to cover them up as the chant got louder and louder.

Mark down September 17th on your schedule.. that is when Perez figures to pitch against the Pirates at PNC. What a game that will be.


Poor Paul Maholm.. he takes the mound yet again Tuesday night facing the hardest opposing pitcher on their team and, unfortunately, does so with Ron Darling behind the plate. Maholm hasn’t gotten a break since the all star game it seems.

Maholm hasn’t allowed more than 3 earned runs in 7 of his last 10 starts yet he lost three of the games and got three no decisions for his efforts because of a lack of run support.

Look for a good game from Maholm if bozo Darling calls a reasonable strike zone and Doumit isn’t behind the plate.

Andrew McCutchen continues to tell David Littlefield he wants an spring training invite next year as he rolled off a 2-3 game yesterday picking up 3 of the 5 Curve rbi’s. He is now hitting .345 at Altoona.

Ever heard of a player named Carlos Teller? He is a Pirate who is playing in his second year in a four year contract with the Pirates in the Venezuelan Summer League. He is a 20 year old southpaw who is throwing about 90 – 92 mph and doing very well. In fact, Teller has the highest K/9 in the entire Pirates farm system at 10 K/9. He has a ways to go to make it to the bigs as he still has command problems walking 5.7 per 9 and he also has a hard time getting left-hand batters out for some reason, but he is dominating VSL batters.

The kid is quite the rage in the VSL and there are some in the industry wondering why David Littlefield doesn’t promote him to Williamsport to see how he does and to get him some better instruction from the Pirates roving instructors. We’ll see where this goes because, if nothing else, we should be seeing him in the US next year.

As I expected, Tom Gorzelanny has been shut down for the rest of the year. I did not expect Mike Gonzalez to be shut down with him but I had heard his knee was acting up again and he was back wearing the knee brace. Perhaps Littlefield is just being cautious.

The official team word was that both had ‘tendinitis’ in their left elbow. But what pitcher doesn’t have some tendinitis anyway? LoL Gonzo had evidently complained of ‘tingling’ in his pinky which led to him being shelved.

I noticed tonight the Post-Gazette reporting that both players want to pitch before the end of the season so it could be a case of Littlefield simply wanting to shut them down over their own desires. I don’t expect to see them back this year. And I expect to see a few more pitchers shelved here pretty soon too like Duke and Maholm.


One comment


    I heard the chants on FSN, however that was not THE posse. And I think they were chanting Jose Jose. Anywho, I’m not sure if the Posse will make it to Perez’s potential start with the Mets, college has scattered us all over the state, but maybe we can find some new recruits.

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