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Pirates' Season Ends With 6-0 Loss

In the Pirates' final game of the year, the Bucs managed to put a staggering fifteen men on base--ten hits, including a triple, plus four walks and a hit batsman--without plating a single one of them. This wasn't a good game by any stretch, but it could have been considerably better. In the fifth inning, Steve Pearce led off with a triple and Andrew McCutchen followed that up with a walk--and then Andy LaRoche came to the plate and swung at about a million pitches outside the strike zone, fouling off most of them before finally striking out swinging. Garrett Jones and Lastings Milledge followed that up with strikeouts of their own.

The Bucs' pitching today was one of those bullpen special days, with Jeff Karstens getting the spot start and pitching only two and a third. Today's bullpen only day didn't work out nearly as well as it did the last time, as Karstens allowed two runs and Donald Veal made a complete mess in the bottom of the fifth.

Brandon Moss got a start and went 1-for-2 with two walks. Good for him, but fortunately for all of us, it sounds like this was a last hurrah of sorts, since he won't be starting much next year. Moss finishes the season with 133 games played and a .236/.303/.364 line. That would be barely acceptable for a Gold Glove shortstop, but for a corner outfielder, well... at least Moss rates as a good defensive player, which means he's a worthwhile bench guy. Beyond that, I think we've seen what we need to see.

One nice thing--well, pretty much the only nice thing--about knowing you're a terrible ballclub is the ability to use playing time as a way of acquiring information. It wasn't automatic that Moss would fail this year. PECOTA (subscription required) said before the season that there would be about a 25% chance of him being as bad or worse than he actually was, and compared him to good players like Curtis Granderson, Paul O'Neill, Jason Kubel, Graig Nettles and Carlos Pena, along with some other guys who weren't nearly as good. The Pirates sensibly used the first couple months of the season to see if they had a Granderson or O'Neill on their hands. It turns out they almost certainly don't, but hey--it's not like the Bucs would have won 90 games with a different right fielder.