Game #87 vs. Cubs

PNC Park | 7:05 | Van Benschoten vs. Ted Lilly | Box

Nothing went right on Saturday night.
Adam LaRoche was a late scratch, Xavier Nady and Jason Bay combined to go 0 for 7 in the middle of the order, and John Van Benschoten was out of control. The Cubs’ offense took advantage early, and Chicago held on to win, 7-1.
JVB lasted only 2.2 innings, throwing 47 of his 73 pitches for strikes. He walked three and allowed seven hits. The relief corps deployed by Jim Tracy—John Wasdin, John Grabow, Masumi Kuwata and Tony Armas—shows that the game got ugly in a hurry.
The top of the Cubs’ order combined to go 9 for 19 with a walk, three RBI and four runs scored. Conversely, the Pirates’ top four went 2 for 16. It was Goliath versus David, and the giant won.
Recaps
Pirates.com
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SI.com
Pre-game Thoughts
The Post-Gazette is filled with CEO stories this morning, as you can imagine. Lots of quotes about why the move is being made—and why now—to go along with what the Pirates might look for in McClatchy’s successor. Over and over again, you hear words like fresh perspective, commitment, accountability.
The second of those links mentions that the jobs of Tracy and Littlefield are safe through the end of 2007. You get the impression, though, that they might be managing for their meal tickets.
To me, it sounds as if Bob Nutting has no desire to become our chief executive. I believe he wants to bring in an outsider, someone who knows what he’s doing, in an effort to turn the franchise around. His words are convincing, for some reason.
I suppose, though, we should wait and see. We’ve heard all the stories before, and yet still we’re riding a 14-year losing streak.
In any case, the seemingly never-ending streak of most important games of the year continues this evening. Important in the sense that if the Cubs take these next two, the Pirates are right back where they started before the home stand. If we keep winning, though, we’ve made progress—and how many times have you been able to say that this season?

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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.

Game #86 vs. Cubs

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