Found September 21, 2012 on Raise the Jolly Roger!:
Dipping below .500, getting swept by the Brewers (again) at home, and falling another game back in the wild card race is bad enough, but the Pirates somehow made it even more upsetting on Thursday afternoon. They fell behind right away, immediately setting the stage for what looked like a total disaster. Wandy Rodriguez had his worst outing in quite a while, allowing three runs in the first inning and another in the third. With the way the Bucco offense had been going, 4-0 pretty much seemed like a ballgame. Instead, the offense showed up. A couple of singles and an Andrew McCutchen bomb later (it was his 30th), the Bucs were back within one. Then they loaded the bases with no outs to start the fourth, but Rodriguez’s spot came up. He had settled down after the rough start, but Hurdle still pulled him for pinch hitter Alex Presley – who bounced into a force out to bring home one run. Starling Marte had a bad strikeout and Travis Snider grounded out, so the Bucs didn’t get any more. Still, they had tied the game. They went on to take the lead thanks to another solid inning at the plate. Clint Barmes hit a solo homer to break the tie. Rod Barajas singled and Jeff Clement hit a pinch hit double(!!!!), then Marte singled in a run and Snider knocked in another with a sac-fly. It was 7-4 and all seemed to be well. The bullpen was even doing fine, as Jared Hughes had a nice outing and Tony Watson worked out of a jam. Clint Hurdle made a solid move in the seventh, bringing in Jason Grilli (instead of saving him for the 8th) to face the meat of the Brewers order. Grilli got the job done, which was great, but someone still had to throw the 8th. I figured it would be Chris Resop, who has been pretty reliable lately. Instead, Clint went to Chad Qualls.  I don’t need to tell you how terrible Chad Qualls is and how much I dislike the fact that he is not only on the team, but pitching relatively important innings. Hurdle correctly noted that Qualls has been good against right-handed batters this year, so I suppose letting him face two light-hitting righties to start the inning with a 3-run lead is somewhat defensible.  But after both singled, lefty pinch hitter Nyjer Morgan came up and next was the red hot Norichika Aoki (a lefty). Lefties had a .999 OPS against Qualls this year (before this game). Chad got Morgan to fly out, but letting him face Aoki was crazy. Aoki lined a double to score two runs and move the tying run (himself) into scoring position with one out. The three run lead was nearly gone. THEN Resop got the call, and he yielded a laser triple to Rickie Weeks and an RBI single to put the Brewers ahead before he got out of the inning. Not a good outing for Chris, but only one run was his own fault and he had to face the good part of the order. Had he started the inning, he very likely would’ve been fine (even if he allowed a run, the Bucs were up 3). The fact that Qualls was trusted (or even available to BE trusted) instead in that situation is absolutely ridiculous. And of course, I could go on a Joel Hanrahan rant too (the Bucs blew a 3-run lead without using their best pitcher, ho-hum) but we all know that the possibility of using him never even entered Hurdle’s mind. Anyway, Milwaukee tacked on another off Chris Leroux and the Bucs didn’t do anything else at the plate. We’ve seen a lot of deflating losses during this collapse, but this one puts the icing on the proverbial cake. Brewers 9, Pirates 7 / Box / 2012 Record: 74-75 / Next: Friday, at Astros, 8:05 MVP: Barmes (+.279) / LVP: Resop (-.449) / Key play: Weeks’ triple

First Pitch: The Day Huntington and Stark Lost Their Jobs?

When I read Dejan Kovacevic’s column on the Navy SEAL training last night, my initial reaction was “someone is getting fired”. Between the team’s horrible play at the major league level, and now this news coming out complete with Kyle Stark’s e-mail, it was the perfect recipe for a full day of “Look at how the Pirates have collapsed in the second half…and while we...

Pirates putting prospects through Navy SEALs training, want Hells Angels attitude

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ late-season collapse may only represent a part of the franchise’s issues. A report published by the Pittsburgh Tribune late Thursday detailed some of the extremely questionable methods of player development the franchise is trying to establish, including putting players through Navy SEALs training, and encouraging a Hells Angels attitude. According to...

Hurdle Taking Day-by-Day Approach With Walker

Neil Walker picked up two of the three hits that the Pirates were able to counter off the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo on Tuesday night at PNC Park. But it was towards the end of that nine inning game that Manager Clint Hurdle said that Walker, who felt strong in the middle of the game, felt that get away from him late. It’s what forced Walker out of the lineup on Wednesday as he...

Former Phillies RHP Chad Qualls "Helps Destroy" Both Pennsylvania Teams in One Year?

Great line from CBS Sports' Danny Knobler tonight: Yes, it's true.  Chad Qualls has been absolutely horrible.   Tonight the Pittsburgh Pirates had a 7-4 lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, and then enter Chad Qualls. Qualls got one out and managed to give up three earned runs, eliminating the Pirates' lead.  His ERA is, as Knobler mentions, 7.94.  For the season...

MLB Rumors: Why MLB Needs Andrew McCutchen To Win 2012 National League Batting Crown

Andrew McCutchen is batting .340 this season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is currently in second place in the National League batting race, .006 behind the leader. While Major League Baseball generally never roots for one player to hit higher than another, this is one instance where MLB needs to root for McCutchen to overtake the current leader and capture the N.L...

Game 150 Live Chat: Pirates at Astros

Pittsburgh Pirates Live Game Chat

The end is the beginning is the end

The Pirates are 74-74. They haven't been under .500 since they were 24-25 on May 29th. Given the way things have gone of late, this may be the very last moment that the 2012 Pirates were an above-average baseball team. That ... is pretty sad.  The first pitch today is at 4:05, with Wandy Rodriguez and Mike Fiers on the mound. Also, you may have noticed WHYGAVS is a bit different...

Final: Brewers 9, Pirates 7

Source: FanGraphs

Exploring the Arsenal – Edgar Gonzalez

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in his career. This chart is from the catcher’s point of view. Click here for a general guide to pitch types and classifications...

Pirates-Astros Preview

It took a little longer this year, but it appears these are the same old Pittsburgh Pirates. Flailing and running on fumes as they desperately try to stay in the wild-card race, the visiting Pirates' last stand could start Friday night against the Houston Astros. It wasn't expected to be this way for Pittsburgh as it made its way to the top half of the NL Central for a...

Exploring the Arsenal – Mike Fiers

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of view. Click here for a general guide to pitch types and classifications...

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Houston Astros – Game 151

Is there really even anything to say about last night?  Pathetic. First Pitch:  7:05 PM EST Where To Watch:  Root Sports, MLB.TV Dallas Keuchel, LHP (24) Keuchel has not had a good season. Tm W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB HOU 2 [...]
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