Pirates Lose Neil Walker In 9-3 Loss

Well, let's see. The Pirates lost 9-3. Pedro Alvarez struck out four times. Alvarez was only in the game because Neil Walker left with a dislocated finger. Wandy Rodriguez faced 29 batters and struck out exactly one of them. Other than that, everything went great.

The Dodgers scored one in the first on two singles and then a fielder's choice by Matt Kemp. The Bucs tied the game in the second when Gaby Sanchez led off with a double and eventually came home on a sacrifice fly, but the Dodgers quickly scored one more in the third and three more in the fourth. Andrew McCutchen's solo blast in the fifth -- finally, a positive sign -- barely made a dent.

Chris Resop relieved Rodriguez and wasted little time in putting more runs on the board, allowing four in the top of the seventh. Travis Snider (who, for some reason, was pinch-hitting in a 9-2 game despite leaving last night's game with hamstring tightness) doubled in the eighth and came home on Clint Barmes' RBI single, but that's all the Pirates were able to manage, and they lost 9-3.

We might not be at this point yet, but we're close. The Pirates need to start making things happen, and quickly, if they want to stay in the hunt.

Nonetheless, the amount of freaking out over small sample sizes, particularly regarding the Pirates' trade-deadline performance, I've seen recently -- and from people who should know better -- is pretty amazing. Rodriguez's performance tonight was poor, but he has a long, long track record, and a few shaky weeks does little to change that. Whatever your opinion of the trade was at the time, you probably should be sticking with it for now. The same goes for the Pirates' other trades as well. Pointing to a two-week sample size -- whether you're doing it to prove that Rodriguez stinks, or that Rudy Owens also stinks, or that Snider is great, or whatever -- does no one any favors.

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