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Link Roundup: Pirates Defeat Diamondbacks

-P- The Bucs beat the Diamondbacks today, 5-3. It's nice to see some other team melt down before your eyes. I was a little shocked to look at the two teams' records thus far and see that the Pirates have only been three games worse than the Diamondbacks this year. The Pirates' relief corps was shaky today -- Tyler Yates did his usual Tyler Yates thing, allowing three of the five batters he faced to draw walks -- but Zach Duke only allowed two runs in six innings and actually struck out more batters than opponent Randy Johnson. Meanwhile, Arizona piled up errors, had a homer by Mark Reynolds taken away, and nearly started a brawl. Not a very good afternoon to be in the Diamondbacks clubhouse, I bet.

The Pirates are now just two games under .500. Of course, in June 2005 they were 30-30, and they wound up losing 97 games. But I keep waiting for the wheels to fall off this 2008 team, and they haven't yet, and maybe they just won't. Maybe that's the difference between a management team that knows how to recognize good players and one that doesn't. (This team led by Jim Tracy would have had Nyjer Morgan and Ronny Paulino in the lineup, and it would've lost 40 games already.) Based on the team's performance so far and the impending losses of Jason Bay and/or Xavier Nady at the trading deadline, I predict... 73 wins?

-P- The Mariners have fired hitting coach Jeff Pentland in yet another round of blame-gaming (and click that link -- it's pretty awesome) by GM Bill Bavasi (or, I guess, someone higher up). The problem, obviously, is that the Seattle lineup's mix of mediocrities and fading vets just isn't any good, but I'm sure someone out there has been fooled into thinking that Pentland was the problem.

-P- Former Pirate Abraham Nunez has been called up to join the Mets, which tells you a lot of what you need to know about the Mets right now. 

-P- Via Primer, the Royals on new Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain: "Whatever."