After Jesse Chavez got the first out in the eighth inning, but before John Russell overmanaged him out of the game in favor of Joel Hanrahan, I saw the following message come through my Twitter stream from the FanGraphs account that tweets real-time win probability updates during Pirate games (which is exceptionally cool and something I would recommend to everyone with a Twitter account):
2-1, 80 % to Win, Top 8, 1 Outs, ___, Miguel Montero ground out off pitcher Jesse Chavez.
I saw that and immediately thought, "80%? Huh. That's bulls--t. If we don't score again, we're losing this game." This is the second time in three days that I "knew" the Pirates would lose a game when it would be incredibly improbable for them to do so, and I'm probably not the only Pirate fan that feels this way.
This is not an indictment of win probability; it's an indictment of the Pirates. It's not just that they're routinely losing games that 80+% of baseball teams in history would win; they're losing these games with an ease and predictability that's almost disturbing. I'm standing by my assertion that this team won't lose 100 games in 2009, but nights like tonight make me worry that they might make it interesting.
On the bright side, Andy LaRoche homered tonight and you're all going to be subjected to a rant about how people have no idea how to value the Jason Bay trade in the very near future. So as bad as the baseball is, there's always that to look forward to.