Game #78 at Florida

Dolphin Stadium | 12:05 | Duke vs. Scott Olsen | Box

So, I live blogged the first hour of the game today. When I left, the Pirates trailed, 5-0.
The Marlins won, 9-7. Zach Duke took the loss, as he allowed 6 runs and 12 hits in 4 innings.
Our bats narrowed the gap in the seventh inning:

Paulino doubled to left. Castillo doubled to right, Paulino scored. Phelps pinch-hitting for Armas. Phelps walked on a full count. Lindstrom pitching. Davis grounded into fielder’s choice, second baseman Uggla to shortstop H.Ramirez, Castillo to third, Phelps out. Bautista singled to right, Castillo scored, Davis to second. Sanchez doubled to center, Davis scored, Bautista to third. Bay grounded out, shortstop H.Ramirez to first baseman Jacobs, Bautista scored, Sanchez to third. Nady singled to left, Sanchez scored. Tankersley pitching. LaRoche doubled to left, Nady to third. Miller pitching. Paulino flied out to center fielder Carroll.

All things considered, another frustrating loss. The Pirates were out of it by the time the second inning started, and even a five-run frame wasn’t enough for a comeback. You can read the transcript of the abbreviated live blog after the jump.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fresh updates are on top. If you join the live blog late, start from the bottom and work your way up. I’ll try to hang around in the comments section, too.

As 104.7 pauses for station identification, I’ll pause for my sanity. I’ll keep the game on in the background, but I think I’ll take an inning or three off from the live blog.

Swing and a miss. That’s six strikeouts for Olsen, if you’re counting. The Pirates strand two. After two and a half, it’s Florida 5, Pittsburgh 0.

Bautista flies to center. Two on, two out and Sanchez to the dish.

Davis walks on five pitches. “He can get worked into a frenzy, lose his confidence and start overthrowing,” says Wehner of Olsen. That’s a pretty in-depth scouting report. Sounds made up to me.

Zachary helps himself out, singling in front of Linden. “He has a long way to go,” laughs Wehner. I’m not amused, Rock.

Castillo grounds to Ramirez for the first out of the inning. Duke will hit.


12:49: A 5-4-3 double play gets Duke out of trouble. After two, it’s 5-0 Florida.

Jacobs singles up the middle, Cabrera to third. The bullpen phone finally rings. “Nothing jolly about this start,” says Greg Brown.
12:46: “Tomorrow night, Zambelli fireworks…” starts Brown. Yep. Please, try not to talk about the baseball.

“That ball was crushed,” says Wehner as Davis fails to make a diving catch in center. Cabrera cruises into second, and the Marlins increase their lead to five.

Uggla flies to right, Nady—gasp!—makes the catch, and Ramirez tags, advancing to third. Miggy Cabrera up with a RISP and one out. Tracy plays the infield in.

Hanley steals his 23rd bag of the year as Ronny has a problem getting the ball out of his catcher’s mitt. “Easily,” says the WQAM PBP.
12:41: Ramirez singles in front of Nady. “Another weak hit by the Marlins,” comments Wehner. A blooper. Here we go again…


12:38: Paulino (who’s riding a seven-game hitting streak) flies to left. Still 4-0, but at least we made contact this time!

LaRoche beats out an infield single to the second baseman. I’d like to see a replay. I can’t visualize that one. In any case, there goes the perfect game.
12:35: If Greg Brown says “strike one” again, I’m probably going to jump off the Clemente Bridge. Olsen won’t miss.

Nady. K. Wow. I picked a horrible game to live blog. LaRoche up. How do you think this one’s going to end?

Bay—you guessed it—goes down swinging. That’s four in a row for Scotty O.

The umpires changed jersey tops in between innings, as apparently three were wearing one color while one was wearing another. WQAM is making a big deal out of the delay.

Scott Olsen is pitching a perfect game. There, he’s jinxed.


12:29: Olsen goes down swinging. The two lefties combined to earn five of six first-inning outs via the K—but the Marlins’ starter was a bit more effective in his half of the frame. Pirates trail 4-0 after one.

Runners at the corners as Castillo and Sanchez couldn’t turn a double play. Backup catcher Treanor beats out Freddy’s throw. “It wasn’t hit hard enough,” explains Florida’s booth. Olsen up to bat, maybe he’ll tire himself out running the bases.

Two-run single to right, Linden stops at second. “Another soft little hit,” laments Wehner. I repeat: Does it matter how hard the ball is hit if it drops in? 4-0 Marlins, and “we have some stirring” in the Pirates’ bullpen, according to WQAM.

Hermida strikes out swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Center fielder Brett Carroll up, Matt Treanor on deck, Olsen in the hole. Chad Hermansen is playing outfield for the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate.

Colborn to the mound after the fifth consecutive hit. No word yet as to whether or not Armas is warming up in the bullpen.

Linden grounds past Castillo, loading the bases for Jeremy Hermida. This is happening faster than I can type—Duke doesn’t get swings and misses. “Nothing’s really been hit hard,” says Wehner. Does that matter?

“Certainly not the start Zach Duke wanted,” Wehner says. Mike Jacobs lines one to right, driving in Uggla. Four Marlins to the plate, four hits, two runs. Todd Linden, a Giants’ castoff, up to bat.

Uggla goes from first to third as Cabrera takes an 0-2 pitch the other way. “A bad pitch,” comments Rock.

“I’ll bet that one gets changed,” says the Marlins’ booth in response to the official scorer’s decision. He thinks Hanley should’ve been credited with a triple. In any case, Uggla knocks Ramirez in, giving Florida an early 1-0 lead.

“It’s off Nady’s glove and rolls to the corner,” screams the Marlins’ play-by-play announcer in delight. A three-base error to start the game.

Hanley Ramirez is hitting .397/.434/.705 against southpaws this season. Maybe we should intentionally walk him?


12:10: Freddy whiffs on a 2-2 pitch. Olsen strikes out the side. Not what you’d call an encouraging start, but it’s still early.

Scott Olsen is on pace for 27 strikeouts today. Sanchez steps into the box batting .356 against lefties in 2007, according to Brown.

Forwards K for Davis. Gotta wonder why Bautista isn’t leading off every day.

“The sun is shining for the time being,” says Brown, “but there are thunder boomers all over.” Rain, rain, go away. Don’t make this live blog any longer than it has to be.


12:00: Umpires: John Hirschbeck, Wally Bell, Bill Welke, Laz Diaz. First pitch in a few minutes.

I’ve got the game going on 104.7 (with Wehner and Brown, then Walk and Lanny) and WQAM (via Gameday Audio). The South Florida station is in its last season of carrying Marlins games.

Might as well link to this now: The P-G reports that FSN won’t be making reference to Andy Chomos’ protest during Saturday’s game. I haven’t written much about the idea—personally, I don’t think it’ll do much good—but I’ll probably weigh in with my thoughts later in the week.
11:20: Lineups are posted on Looks like Rajai’s going to get regular playing time against left-handed pitching. I’m of the belief that he’s close to worthless, but I guess it never hurts to make sure.

  • Davis, cf
  • Bautista, 3b
  • Sanchez, 2b
  • Bay, lf
  • Nady, rf
  • LaRoche, 1b
  • Paulino, c
  • Castillo, ss
  • Duke, sp

I figure a handful of you will be at work for this one, desperate to see how your lovable losers are doing as they go for a sweep. I haven’t live blogged a game since April, but I’ll break one out for this businessman’s special. The updates should start by 11:45.
The weatherman says there’s a 50 percent chance of rain.

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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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  • Travis

    They might score a few runs to give false hope.

  • Scott D.

    As usual as a displaced Pirate fan, I’ll be listening to the Buccos on my XM radio out here in Kansas. Unfortunately since I only get hometeam broadcasts I have to listen to the brutal commentary of the Florida announcers.
    Your brief mention of the term “lovable losers” made me think of this essay I read on Cubs fans in the book Baseball and Philosopy. The essay basically compared being a baseball fan to religious faith and said that loyal Cubs fans are the ultimate example of devotion because they have not been “rewarded” with a championship in so long.
    I disagree with the statement Cubs fans are the ultimate examples of devotion. They have team owners who are willing to spend money and at least look like they are trying to compete for a championship.
    I’ve been rooting for my Buccos from day 1 as a native of West Virginia. I can barely remember the Stargell days. The Leyland/Van Slyke days are so firmly implanted into my fan pysch that I’ve acutally begun to follow the Detroit Tigers for the past couple of years, along with my wife who is a lifelong Tiger fan.
    I attended the last Pirates series in St. Louis with some hope and confidence. The Pirates were pitching Duke, Snell, and Gorzelanny against the reeling Cards. I proudly sported by Clemente and Jack Wilson jerseys to the games (I counted only 5-6 other people in Bucco regalia there) only to see a Cardinals sweep.
    Here I am… coming back for more… waiting for the next game.
    Sometimes I believe that we loyal Buccos fans should be commended, but maybe there just isn’t enough of us still around.

  • Cory Humes

    Amazon recommended that one for me, Scott, so I have it, too. Haven’t gotten through much of it, unfortunately—I’m terribly behind on reading. Randy’s the resident book reviewer here at the Lumber Co., anyway.
    “Sometimes I believe that we loyal Buccos fans should be commended, but maybe there just isn’t enough of us still around.”
    I’m positive that the fans are still around. The bandwagon might not be as large, but the diehards haven’t given up yet.

  • Nancy

    Good job, Cory — your jinx worked!

  • Cory Humes

    Time for rally caps.

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