Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 6/26/12

Ugh. Sunday was an acceptable loss. It was Kevin Correia against Justin Verlander and the Bucs still almost won. Monday was just one of those nights where nothing seems to go right. Shake it off and move on. But fans have every right to be upset with this one, as the Bucs squandered a ton of chances and fell by one run.

The theme began developing early on, when the Pirates quickly got the first two batters of the game on base (Jose Tabata HBP, Neil Walker walk). They moved up 90 feet on Andrew McCutchen‘s groundout, but Tabata was cut down at the plate on Garrett Jones‘ tapper, then Casey McGehee bounced out to end the threat. Bad baserunning by Jose and a bad approach at the plate by Garrett.

On the mound, Erik Bedard was subpar yet again. He really hasn’t looked like the guy we saw early in the year lately (although his previous start was strong). Bedard’s problem tonight was finishing innings and at-bats…all Phillies runs against him came with two outs and two strikes. He just generally didn’t seem sharp, only recording three strikeouts and allowing eight hits.

The Bucs were able to get a run back in the second when Pedro Alvarez hit a leadoff double and scored on Michael McKenry‘s sac fly, but that was all they managed off Vance Worley until the sixth, when they were down 4-1. McGehee cashed in on McCutchen’s leadoff double with a 2-out RBI single. Bedard had put up 0′s in the 4th, 5th, and again in the 6th, so the Pirates had some momentum.

That seemed to carry over to the top of the seventh, when Clint Barmes led off with a walk (a gigantic event—his FOURTH of the year!) and McKenry followed with a single. Newly acquired Drew Sutton stepped up to pinch hit, and added to his internet legend with a big double to score one and put men on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. The Pirates were primed to tie or even take the lead….but it didn’t happen. Tabata bounced to the pitcher, and Walker hit a very shallow fly ball to left. McKenry tagged up and was gunned down easily at the plate (he may have slid under the tag, but the throw beat him by a mile). I didn’t agree with sending him, just because the fly ball was so shallow and McKenry isn’t fleet of foot. McCutchen was up next, and probably would’ve been walked, but I still would’ve rather taken my chances with Garrett Jones (or a pinch hitter if the Phils had countered with a lefty).

It got worse. In the eighth, McCutchen led of with a double (of course). Josh Harrison came up to pinch hit for Jones since a lefty was in, and IMMEDIATELY POPPED UP A BUNT. Terrible. First of all, Harrison doesn’t seem to be any good at bunting–he missed a squeeze on Saturday and popped one up in the first inning on Sunday. Next, there’s the classic “play for the win on the road” adage, which was obviously completely ignored here. That was a play for the tie. Third, even if he had gotten the bunt down, it wouldn’t have done any good. McGehee popped up and Alvarez struck out. Brutal.

Juan Cruz pitched a scoreless seventh, but then allowed a Carlos Ruiz (who killed the Bucs all night) homer in the eighth. McKenry completed a great night at the plate with a solo shot off Jonathan Papelbon to get that run back, but the Bucs couldn’t do anything else against him.

Really frustrating game. Throw in the fact that it’s the Pirates’ third loss in a row, and the fact that it’s at Philly where the season went to die last year…oh, and the Reds and Cardinals both won…just not a pleasant night. But hey, McDonald and Burnett go the next two nights, and we saw how this team bounced back after the brutal Baltimore series and the upsetting 1-0 loss in Cleveland.  Let’s hope something similar happens this week.

Phillies 5, Pirates 4 / Box / 2012 Record: 38-35 / Next: Wednesday, at Phillies, 7:05

MVP: Sutton (+.263) / LVP: Bedard (-.297) /
Source: FanGraphs" target="_blank">Key play: Sutton’s double

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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