Archive for the 'Brewers' Category

01
Apr
08

A few thoughts on the Pirates

  • Yesterday’s game was crazy.  The Pirates, carried by Nate McLouth (3-5 plus a walk, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) and Xavier Nady(4-7, a double, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs) put on quite an offensive show.  Unfortunately, Damaso Marte and Matt Capps gave new meaning to the word “meltdown”, as they walked 4 out of 5 batters to start the bottom of the 9th, ultimately erasing the Pirates’ 5-run lead.  As they say, all’s well that ends well, and the game ended well for the Pirates, but it should have been a clean victory in 9 innings, rather than a messy one in 12.
  • I’m glad that the Pirates got rid of Byung-Hyun Kim.  I couldn’t believe it when they signed him because he has been bad for a long time.  Fortunately, he was bad enough in Spring Training that they dumped him without giving him the chance to ruin any regular season games.
  • Starting pitching for the Pirates looked pretty good toward the end of Spring Training.  Let’s hope it stays good.
  • Pirates are tied with the Brewers for first place in the NL Central.  Savor it.
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11
Sep
07

The streak continues

The Pirates lost tonight, putting their record on the year at 64-81. What does this mean? Well, it means that the Pirates cannot have a winning season this year. It means the best they can hope to do is not having a losing season. Unfortunately, that would require them to win every game they play for the rest of the season – all 17 of them. That means winning the series against the Brewers, sweeping the Astros followed by consecutive sweeps of the Padres, the Cubs, the Diamondbacks, and the Cardinals. So, although they haven’t recorded their 82nd loss quite yet, I think it’s pretty much in the bag – along with their 15th consecutive losing season. I hope I’m wrong, but that seems pretty unlikely.

04
Apr
07

Pirates sweep Astros, sit alone atop NL Central

I missed tonight’s game because we go to our church community group on Wednesday nights.  That said, I was thrilled when I got home and saw that the Pirates had pulled off yet another win.  Tonight’s win marks their first ever sweep at Minute Maid Park, which is a milestone in itself.  However, the Brewers’ loss tonight also means that the Pirates are now alone at the top of the NL Central.  So far, this season has been better than I could have realistically hoped for.  Obviously, there are still 159 games left in the regular season, so it’s a little early to make bold statements about whether the Pirates will have a winning season this year or, dare we hope, make the post-season.  That said, the Pirates already have 3 wins under their belts (it took them 10 games last year to reach 3 wins) and they’re looking good.  Let’s keep it up!

04
Feb
07

Pirates finally make some moves: Part 1

It’s been a slow offseason for Pirates fans. Basically, we’ve sat and watched as other teams signed all of this season’s good free agents while Dave Littlefield yammered on about how their focus was on acquiring players through trades. However, in the last two weeks the Pirates have actually made a few moves. Here’s a breakdown:

Adam LaRoche for Mike Gonzalez: I have to say that I’m sorry to see Mike Gonzalez go. That guy had electric stuff and was very entertaining to watch. On the other hand, he always looked like he was on the verge of coming apart, much like former Milwaukee closer Derrick Turnbow, who actually did come apart and lost the closer role. Also, as a closer playing for the Pirates, Gonzalez didn’t have a lot of opportunities to play, since closers generally only pitch the 9th if their team is winning. All in all, in spite of my affection for Mike Gonzalez, I think this trade will benefit the Pirates. He only pitched in 54 games last year while LaRoche will likely play 150 games or more. Plus, LaRoche will add some much-needed power to the middle of the lineup. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do for the Pirates this year.

Tony Armas, Jr.: Last week the Pirates announced that they had signed right-handed starter Tony Armas, Jr. to a one-year contract with a club option for 2008. I’m less enthusiastic about this signing because Armas, Jr. is the guy they signed because they couldn’t get Jeff Suppan or Tomo Ohka. Last year Armas, Jr. started 30 games for the Washington Nationals, finishing with a 9-12 record and 5.03 ERA. This is not the kind of help the Pirates need. They got this kind of starter when they got Shawn Chacon from the Yankees in exchange for Craig Wilson before the trade deadline last year. His career numbers are better than his numbers from last year, so hopefully, he’ll do better this year. Only time will tell.

In future installments I’ll look at other transactions the Pirates have made this offseason, including the signing of Cuban defector Yoslan Herrera and the re-signing of current Pirates players like Freddy Sanchez.

05
Sep
06

More Recent Acquisitions

Many of you may think that I buy lots of stuff given the number of “recent acquisitions” posts I have on my blog. I guess I have bought a decent amount of stuff lately, but the most recent acquisitions came from a gift certificate, so there was no outlay of cash. Well, OK, I did pay $0.46 to cover the difference between the purchase and the gift certificate amount.

brewers_hat.JPG pirates_hat.JPG

Anyway, I have had my eyes on a Brewers hat with the old school MB/glove logo for quite some time. Initially, I wanted the all blue home hat, but after watching the Pirates play the Brewers in Milwaukee on MLB.TV and seeing some fans wearing the blue and yellow away hat, I opted for the away hat instead.

I also wanted a vintage Pirates hat. I opted for this one because it was the most unlike any of the others available. The fabric is really nice – it’s almost fuzzy.

Both of these hats fit well. I ordered them in 7 5/8 because I have a Red Sox fitted hat that is 7 1/2 and it’s too small. I also ordered a black 1948-1970 Pirates hat which looks almost identical to the current official Pirates hat except that it has a yellow button on top instead of a black button. I ordered this hat in 7 5/8 too, but it is significantly too large. So, I’m not sure what to do. Should I return it or try to sell it on eBay? I could try to make it shrink, but I’m not sure how to do that. Any suggestions?

27
Jul
06

Pirates win series against Brewers

The Pirates took another victory from the Brewers yesterday afternoon, defeating Milwaukee 8-4. Incredibly, this represents only their 2nd series victory in games played away from PNC Park, the other being their victory against the Giants June 8-11. This game was interesting because it saw the Pirates exorcise some of the demons that had been plaguing them this year. In his wrap of yesterday’s game, Pirates reporter Ed Eagle notes the following difficulties the Pirates have had this year, all of which applied to yesterday’s game:

A 7-27 record in day games.

A 6-28 mark in games when an opponent starts a left-handed pitcher.

A 1-9 record in series-deciding finales.

A 12-40 overall mark on the road.

Generally, when this type of data is presented by sports writers, there is some implication that these past performances have predictive power for the future. To take an example from above, the implication is that the Pirates are predisposed to losing in, say, a series-deciding finale. While there may be some causal behavior at work with the above set of data, I believe that most of it is coincidental. While the Pirates may have some difficulty hitting against lefties, there is no way that that alone can account for such a terrible record against lefties. Generally speaking, teams perform better at home, so I’m inclined to believe that the Pirates’ road struggles may be real, though, again, not to the extent that their record would indicate. However, I do not believe that there is anything real in their record in series-deciding finales or day games. It would be interesting to look at the ERA of the pitchers they faced in these games. It could be that they just had bad luck going up against dominant pitchers in these games. Or, their own pitcher could have melted down in these situations. Coming up with an explanation for this behavior will take more work than I can devote to it this morning, but I’ll be on vacation (in Pittsburgh!) next week, so maybe I’ll take a look at these trends then. Stay tuned.




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