Saturday, June 14, 2008

Game 68: Orioles 9 Pirates 6

There's an easy litmus test that I can apply to a Pirate loss to decide if it sucks or not. All I have to do is ask myself one question. "Is it actually surprising that the Pirates lost that game?" If the answer is yes, the loss sucks. If it's no, it just fades into the background with countless other Pirate losses. My friends, that loss tonight sucked.

I've taken some crap recently for not being head over heels in love with Phil Dumatrait since he's joined the rotation. The reason I'm not sold on Dumatrait is that everything about him screams "JOHN VAN BENSCHOTEN!" to me. He was a top pick with some arm trouble who bounced back and pitched OK in AAA, but he's never really found his control. You just can't put runners on base the way he does and expect good results to keep coming. Tonight he got himself into some trouble in the first, but weaseled out of it with a double play. He didn't get that lucky in the fifth and as a result he left a game with a one run lead instead of a more significant one. As a starter on the Pirates, you can't leave the game after five innings with a one run lead and expect to win. Matt Capps, John Grabow, and Damaso Marte are great, Tyler Yates is pretty good, and mostly everyone else is awful. JR seems to have a penchant for putting Osoria in to close games in the sixth inning, which is always a recipe for miserable failure.

This is the second game that the Pirates have lost like this this week to a bad team. The thing I found particularly discouraging about this loss is that after making Brian Burres work in the second and third innings, getting guys on base, and seeing good things happen, we just let him cruise. Seeing Osoria, Burnett, and Dumatrait crap the bed isn't that frustrating because I don't expect a ton of out those guys. Seeing the offense unable to keep pace, on the other hand, kind of drove me nuts tonight.