The Pirates lost 5-3 to the Cubs tonight despite an amazing debut by Derrek Lee. Lee hit a solo homer and a two-run jack, and on the second of those, the fans at PNC wanted him to come out for a curtain call. He also made a nice play to nail the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt attempt.
That was enough to make me almost feel good about the game, even though the Pirates lost. Paul Maholm allowed three straight hits to start the sixth, which led the Cubs to score three runs in the inning. The Pirates, meanwhile, managed 10 hits and also walked three times, but only managed to score three. (Pedro Alvarez had two hits, although he also grounded into a double play and got picked off, and Neil Walker went 2-for-4 with a double.)
The Bucs' other new addition, Ryan Ludwick, went 0-for-3 with a walk, but he saw a fair amount of action in left field and played very well there, making two nice throws. I didn't think he would have a problem in left field in PNC even before the game, and this did nothing to change my mind.
Tremendous game by Lee, although the larger concern here, obviously, is that the Pirates need to start winning again to have any kind of shot at the playoffs.