Rockies 4, Pirates 1: Bad Inning, Bad Offense Doom Paul Maholm

The Bucs led off the game Saturday with a line-drive homer by Andrew McCutchen, who now has two homers in his last two games and appears to be snapping out of his funk. After that, though, they were pretty lifeless for the rest of the game. Paul Maholm allowed a double to Carlos Gonzalez in the bottom of the second when Matt Diaz couldn't make a tough play at the wall in left. After that, Jose Lopez reached on a bunt single, and then Seth Smith hit another weak single to drive in a run.

That all turned out to be really unfortunate, because Chris Iannetta then hit a three-run homer to drive everyone in. Maholm basically kept things under control after that, inducing a bunch of grounders, but the Rockies had what they needed and won 4-1 as the Pirates scratched out a measly seven hits and grounded into three double plays. Danny Moskos pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his major-league debut.

If you didn't see the game and are wondering what Diaz was doing in left, by the way, it was that Jose Tabata left early in the game with hamstring tightness, coming up lame while running to first. It didn't look like a big deal.

But, as someone pointed out in the gamethread - if the whole idea of claiming Xavier Paul is that he can provide decent outfield defense, why wouldn't you bring him in to play left field when your regular gets injured and there's a right-handed pitcher on the hill? Diaz has never hit righties much, and he hasn't hit well at all this year. And playing left field in PNC isn't easy (edit: the game was in Coors. Duh). I won't go so far as to blame Diaz for not catching the Gonzalez hit that started all the trouble in the second - I can't find the highlight to watch it again, and lots of outfielders look bad when trying to judge balls at the wall. But if Paul is supposed to have some function on this roster, Diaz probably shouldn't have been out there in the first place.

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