Game #89 at Atlanta

Turner Field | 7:35 | Snell vs. Tim Hudson | Box

We head to Atlanta for three with the Braves, and it’s our best against their best. We all want to believe that the Pirates have turned a corner. This is our first chance to prove it. Were those four consecutive series wins a fluke? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Not exactly what I had in mind. If that was the Pirates’ best, we’re in for a long second half.
Ian Snell allowed seven runs in five innings and the Pirate bats were held scoreless through eight, resulting in an Atlanta win, 9-1.
Adam LaRoche booted a ball in the first inning that proved costly. With none on and two out, Chipper Jones sent a grounder down the first base line. LaRoche thought he grabbed it, but when he checked his glove for the ball, all he saw was leather. Jones reached safely, Andruw Jones walked and Brian McCann launched a three-run homer.
Said Jim Tracy, “We didn’t necessarily have to be in a position where we were trailing, 3-0, going into the top of the second.”
No kidding.
Recaps
Pirates.com
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SI.com
Pre-game Thoughts
Believe it or not, we’re actually going to play baseball tonight.
It seems like the All-Star break took forever. Last year the time flew past, likely because we were running around Pittsburgh with our heads cut off. So many stars, so much to do, so much to see. This season’s game didn’t have that same feel. After hosting the midsummer classic, watching it on television isn’t as exciting.
But it’s over now, finally, and we’re ready to kick off the second half.
We head to Atlanta for three with the Braves, and it’s our best against their best. We all want to believe that the Pirates have turned a corner. This is our first chance to prove it. Were those four consecutive series wins a fluke? Maybe. Or maybe not.
The Braves will contend for a playoff spot in the NL East, and while no one’s saying that the Bucs will make it to October, running with the big dogs is a confidence boost. Take two out of three from Atlanta, then two out of three from Colorado, then two out of three from Houston.
The past few days have been filled with report cards and projections, trying to figure out exactly what we have here. The next chapter of Pirates lore begins tonight. We’ll know soon enough if our boys underachieved in the first half, or if they’re really just a miserable lot of baseball players.
Let’s hope for the former.
If you’re looking for a statistical approach to this series, the Press Pass notes are available.

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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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