Mets 7, Pirates 0: Bucs' Offense Flatlines Again

The only really nice thing one can say about this one is that Kevin Correia pitched pretty well before the wheels finally came off in the eighth. He actually took a perfect game into the fifth and gutted it out for a really long time when it looked like the Bucs' offense had no prayer of scoring. Good for him, and good for the Pirates' front office for acquiring him.

There were a couple of controversial calls that ended up probably not mattering - with a scoreless game in the seventh, Jason Bay hit a sacrifice fly with one out and runners on first and third. The Pirates eventually appealed ... something and got Angel Pagan out at either second or first after the lead run came home to score. What I thought happened was that Pagan went past second base but then did not tag second on his way back to first. The umpires initially took the run off the board, then put it back on again.

Then in the bottom of the inning, Lyle Overbay hit a fly ball to deep center, and Pagan appeared to make the catch at the wall. It sounded like it might have been a trap, but it was impossible to tell from the replay. Overbay was called out.

Beyond that ... the Pirates made Chris Capuano look like Steve Carlton today. And they ended up giving up seven runs, so it's hard to complain much about either of the calls. The first one was just weird, and the umpires' call on the second one was entirely reasonable given the facts available. Clint Hurdle was eventually thrown out of the game for arguing about the ball at the wall, but not even he seemed too up in arms about either call.

The broader problem was that their lineup consisted of Jose Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and then one automatic out after another. The Pirates simply will not score much with a lineup that includes Matt Diaz, Lyle Overbay, Brandon Wood, Ronny Cedeno, and Dusty Brown. (Pat at WHYGAVS was ranting about Diaz on Twitter all afternoon.) Near the end of the game, Diaz was thrown out, apparently for yelling at the umpires from the bench. That made me laugh. Earlier he had been screaming at the home-plate umpire about a strike call that the replay showed was, in fact, a strike. But even if it weren't, was there anyone in that stadium besides Diaz who thought he would get a hit if given an additional chance?

At this point, the Pirates need to do something. Alex Presley, Chase D'Arnaud and Eric Fryer aren't world-beaters, but the Pirates need to give them the chance to show they can do something in the majors, as opposed to what the current group  is doing, which is waving at junk out of the strike zone all the time and hitting weak grounders. It doesn't even matter that someone like Presley isn't really an ideal fit for the roster, since he's left-handed - Diaz is failing so thoroughly to do his job as the right-handed side of a platoon that he probably shouldn't be asked to do it anymore. At this point, I would be much more interested in seeing Presley try to hit lefties than seeing Diaz fail to do it.

I understand there have been a bunch of injuries. But it's not as if the Pirates lack semi-viable alternatives to some of the automatic outs currently clogging their lineup and bench. And some of those automatic outs are in the lineup not because of injuries, but because they were the Pirates' Plan A from the beginning of the season. And yeah, I'm upset about it. That game was nearly unwatchable. 

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