Game #58 at Washington

RFK Stadium | 7:05 | Chacon vs. Mike Bacsik | Box
It looked as if the Pirates were trying to lose this one. Ugly wins still count the same as 10-0 blowouts, though, so I couldn’t care less. Raise the Jolly Roger!
Chacon wasn’t great, but he out-pitched Bacsik. Damaso Marte, Jonah Bayliss and John Grabow left something to be desired, but they weren’t flat-out terrible. Salomon Torres and Matt Capps were perfect in the eighth and ninth. One more go-to arm in the bullpen would be a much-appreciated stress reliever from my point of view. The good version of John Grabow, the one that gets both lefties and righties out—where has he gone?
The offense came alive despite Tracy’s use of a rather curious leadoff hitter. Jimbo refused to start Rajai Davis in September last year, but now that Jose Bautista’s proven to be a competent figure in the first spot of the order skipper switches things up? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Davis and Chris Duffy combined to go 0 for 4.
In any case, Bautista, Sanchez, Bay and Nady did everything you could ask. They performed as the middle of an order should, and the Pirates got results. We had a healthy offense (at least through the first six innings), and we won a ballgame. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
As an aside, Ryan Church—who was often mentioned in trade rumors this past off-season—went 3 for 3 with a walk, double and two runs scored. If Dave Littlefield does get that glimmer in his eye and wants to take an ill-advised shot at the Central, Church might not be a terrible target.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pre-game Thoughts
The pundits wrote off Washington as baseball’s worst team in spring training. Right now, the Nationals are 23-34.
The Pirates are 24-33.
Mike Bacsik is a 29-year-old journeyman with a 5.28 ERA in 25 career games. In 2007, though, he’s thrown three quality starts. He’s 1-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 19.2 innings.
Shawn Chacon is a 29-year-old journeyman with a 4.99 ERA in 208 career games. In 2007, though, he’s been solid as a reliever and starter. He’s 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 44.1 innings.
I wish I were more confident heading into this series, but I’m not. The Bucs need to win at least two of three if they want to keep any hope (and fan interest) alive. A weekend series at Yankee Stadium looms in the distance.

Author: Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

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