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Brewers 4, Pirates 1: Pirates' Bats Again Absent

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PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 14:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates gets caught in a run-down by Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on April 14, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 14: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates gets caught in a run-down by Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on April 14, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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Sigh. Again tonight, the Pirates' offense was nowhere to be found. Randy Wolf and Paul Maholm were engaged in what one person in the gamethread called "a poo-flinging competition," and it was to Maholm's credit that he managed to keep the competition going even though he had to pitch to the Brewers' hitters rather than the clueless-looking Bucs hitters that Wolf got to face.

The announcers kept going on about the difference in speed between Wolf's fastball and his curveball, which - okay, he throws a slow curveball. But the fastball really isn't good, and there's just no excuse for letting the guy rack up 10 strikeouts the way he did tonight. The announcers then started saying exactly the same thing about John Axford when he came up in the ninth, which is how you could tell that the whole explanation was really an elaborate apology for the Pirates' terrible hitting - Axford's pitches change speeds, sure, but most pitchers' do, and Axford is a completely different type of pitcher than Wolf is. If the truly baffling thing about the Brewers' pitchers is that they sometimes throw pitches at speeds different than their fastballs, well, then, we've got problems here, folks.

Yeah. So, to recap, the Pirates struck out 14 times and got four hits. Even Jose Tabata struck out three times. They scored their only run on a wild pitch in the ninth. Neil Walker airmailed a throw, and Ronny Cedeno continued to inspire less than full confidence at shortstop. The pitching, I guess, was functional. Root Sports spent a large portion of the broadcast following a guy with a sharpie as he made a Root Sports poster - literally, they showed him at least three times before he had actually finished making the sign. They also actually showed a shot from the bottom of an escalator as fans were leaving the game, despite the fact that there were still several innings left to play. This really wasn't a great effort by anyone concerned.