There are a lot of things that could be said about this one. The Pirates hit some balls very hard late in the game that just didn't fall in and they made some errors and they lost a game in which maybe they didn't play all that much worse than their opponents. Ultimately, though, what it comes down to is that they gave up five runs in the fourth inning in an era in which the average offense scores 4.23 runs per night. They tried to come back and they hit some home runs and got a strong night from the bullpen, but it's just not easy to win if you surrender a five-run inning to a good team.
We can, of course, discuss the source of that five-run inning and whether or not Erik Bedard is healthy (based on what I've seen on Twitter tonight, he's telling reporters that he is) and what to do with him and his rotation spot in the coming days, but maybe that's a conversation best left for the All-Star Break. For now on Friday night, let's say that he pitched poorly and he's been pitching poorly lately and it's a conversation that needs having at some point. Chris Resop was excellent in bailing him out and giving the Pirates a chance to win, but it just wasn't enough.
On the bright side, Pedro Alvarez absolutely mauled a home run off of a LOOGY (ex-Bucco Javier Lopez) in the eighth inning, which is not something you see him do often. Unfortunately, the bases were empty the Pirates were down by two. All is not lost in this series; McDonald and Burnett will start the last two games. Remember that one game is not predictive, and let's hope the Bucs go strongly into the break, tonight notwithstanding.
The other day on MLBTradeRumors there was an item about the Pirates maybe going after Grienke or Oswalt in order to make a big run in the second half. A bunch of Pirates fans over there basically responded to that idea with "Wha? Who needs them? Best pitching staff in the NL, baby!" Um, perhaps a trade for a SP isn't so ridiculous after all. Burnett and J-Mac, then we have a panic attack.
(Yeah, I know that sucks. Sorry, I didn't major in haiku at CMU)
@Carnegie Chip Roy-O isn't having a good go of things in Dallas, and that's for a team full of bats. Whether that's because of him waiting out the first month+ is a fair question, but I'm not seeing him and his attitude coming here to be much of a plus. Grienke would be pretty rad, but I'd have reservations about him stepping into a "savior" role, not to mention having to pay "savior" prices in prospects...
@bwzimmerman @Carnegie I goofed. Actually the rumor was Greinke or Hammels from Philly (if he turns down their contract offer), not Oswalt. That's what I get for posting before I've had my morning coffee. Still, your point about the savior prices is likely the same both. And I agree. I tend to subscribe to the "Prospects are prospects, it's better to live in the now because you never know where you'll be 3-4 years down the road" but I couldn't stomach giving up a Taillon or Heredia for a half season rental.
Even though, and I realize this makes me sound like the mother of all kool aid drinkers, but I truly think an AJ-JMac-Greinke/Hammels rotation would make the Pirates the runaway favorites to win the division or at least make the playoffs.
You commented once that our lopsided record in one run games - I don't remember what it is - was unsustainable. Lets just chalk this up to something that had to happen to restore balance in our world - appreciate that three of the "core four" had good games (McCutchen - who rules, Walker and Alvarez) and move on.
And are you going to have a WHYGAVS night this year? I haven't been to a Pirates game since Three Rivers b/c I am out west, but someday I'll go, and it would be fun during a WHYGAVS night.
@nickjuneau24 No WHYGAVS Night this year. Just don't have time to make it home again this summer, though I may try to get back in October ... should the conditions permit it.