Buccos fall to Braves and bitter McLouth.

Two games in. Two losses

The Pirates lost 2-4 at the hands of Atlanta on Thursday. The Pirates have put up miniscule hits these past two days, recording just four against the Braves. Compared to the five hit by Atlanta, I guess it should not be too big of a talking point.

Two of the Bucs reaching base safely were new additions. Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby.

ryan.jpg

 

Church got the start in right field, but should not be too commended for his effort. He struck out twice while getting his single in three at bats. Over the weekend I called in to a local sports talk station. The guys were talking about off-season accquisitions by the Pirates and failed to mention Church. I chimed in expressing my interest in him and that he could be a central part to our team. They agreed and complimented me, a good feeling considering I am not a frequent caller to these type of shows. I normally just like to sit back and listen. The show was Sunday during an intermission of the USA-Canada hockey game and I was lucky enough to be directed straight to the show. I did watch the game and if anybody else did I hope you were listening intently at the very beginning of the first period. Announcer Doc Emerick dropped a Pirates mention saying “I bet the Pittsburgh Pirates are glued intently to this game.” Perplexed I was, but later found out Emerick is a huge Pirates fan. The New Jersey Devils announcer earned major points in my media heroes book.

bobby.jpg

 

Crosby had a decent day at the plate. With two outs in third he ripped a single through the infield bringing in a run. It was the first tally mark of the afternoon for the Pirates. It was the only noise he would make in his three at bats.

Andy LaRoche hit the first homerun of the Spring Training season for Pittsburgh. His solo shot in the 7th was the only other productive at bat in the contest.

The underlying storyline heading into this ballgame was the matchup against former Pirate centerfielder Nate McLouth.

 

nate.jpgThe 2008 Gold Glove winner was the first Pirate traded in last summer’s infamous fire sale. A shocking move to the city of Pittsburgh and the entire baseball world as McLouth just inked a long term deal with the club in the offseason.

In an interview with Jennifer Langosch Nate announced his disdain for the Pirates organization. Here is a sample of what he said.

It feels good to be in an organization this year that’s going to be in a playoff hunt and not have to talk about ‘We hope years down the road …’ and things like that. It’s good to have that feeling in Spring Training.

It was tough, but I was kind of lucky that I was the first one to get sent out and I didn’t have to deal with it the whole summer. 

If I was in Nate’s position, I certainly would be a bit ticked and I understand what he is saying. At the time I was unsure of the trade, but it can pay big dividends for the Pirates. We got a starting pitcher (Charlie Morton) and a centerfield prospect (Gorkys Hernandez) out of the deal. It makes me happy theat McLouth is not down playing that situation. He truly wanted to be a Pirate and felt betrayed by the organization. Some say it is still a stupid move, but it really was not.

Our outfield now is one of the youngest and most talented in the National League. McLouth refused to move to left field when Andrew McCutchen would be promoted and that may have pre-empted the trade in the first place. McLouth’s numbers also dropped considerably when he was in the ATL.

In 85 games with the Braves, McLouth batted a mediocre .256 and hits 11 home runs, bringing his total up to 20 for the year. His on base percentage dropped a handful of points from the year before and his OPS was .773, the second lowest in his five year career.

It is hard to tell what the short and long term effects of the trade will be. The duo the Pirates recieved from Atlanta has yet to pan out. In sort of a fitting manner, it was Morton that started the game for Pittsburgh. He had control issues walking three batters (including McLouth).

photo credits: piratereport.com, coxnewsweb.com

Baltimore is up next! Bucs-O’s Friday at 7p.m.

  

11 Comments

Realistically look who the 2 games were against… I watch most of yesterdays game and the Pirates were a little unlucky, but at least they can look and see what they will have to do and adjust as the preseasons games move on….
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Ryan Church…there are still some Mets shirts with his name and number in the sporting goods stores. I’m glad he could move on after such a horrible experience here in New York and start fresh in Pittsburgh. He also kinda looks like Justin Verlander.
Bobby Crosby looks kinda sorta not really like Scott Brosius. What position is he playing now? Still SS?
If Emerick like the Pirates, it doesn’t mean they necessarily like him or hockey, so why did he bet they were listening? Speaking of the Devils, all of them in the Olympics did better than they’ve been doing for the Devils…and when they came back it was right back to usual form for everyone except Kovalchuk and Langenbrunner. Do you think players are patriotic and play better in international competition? Like Dice-K in the WBC? Or are they just better when the competition is better?

I’m surprised Nate would run his mouth off like that. It’s okay to have such feelings, but there’s a classier way to go about it in my opinion. I don’t blame the guy for feeling that way, but he still got paid…so I’d respect that.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

I believe players should always have a certain degree of respect for the organization that drafted them no matter what happens afterwards. Nate could have been more tactful.
I still dig Ryan Church. I think he got shafted here. You were right to call and chime in.
I’m a NYR fan but Emerick does a great game! He drives my son up a wall though.
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

I’m surprised that McLouth would take potshots like that. No offense, but isn’t it easy to kick the Pirates while they are down right now. Classless.

You inspired me to buy some baseball cards the other day. Topps. Had a blast opening them. Got a few Cubs (Derrick Lee) and a few Rays (Carl Crawford) but mostly junk. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind, but the damn box was $20! I’m not old at all, but what happened to the days of 50 cents a pack!? Maybe I am old…

http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

I felt like McLouth didn’t let too many sour grapes out of his mouth. He gave standard cliched answers to someone who went from one organization to another that is considered “higher”. I’m not crazy about the Braves myself, or McLouth. I think Pittsburgh got the better end of the deal and I’d make the same trade again if it was offered.

I like Ryan Church and in my “take” on the Pirates over at my Blogger page, I agree that he can have a pivotal influence to the young outfield especially if Garret Jones if forced to cover first base long term.

Nice work, Matt

~ Will

Nothing like watching our teams struggle eh? At least they’re consistent. I’m new to MLBlogs but I like your style. Looking forward to reading more.

Matt, http://fislinl.mlblogs.com

The first few days of spring training just give us a wide range of emotions… but I’m so glad it’s back!
Ginny
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

Hmm interesting comments from mr mclouth.. though understandable. It’s alright, the angels haven’t won a game yet :P Matsui is making his debut so hoping he can bring up some wins :)

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

Thanks for sending me the link! What a jerk! He was my fav Pirate before he got traded. I used to watch him & see how he was doing. Always wished him the best. Now, not so much! I understand him being upset, but to bash the team that launced him career is not cool!
On a more happy note, 8 days until opening day. I think i’m getting to the ball park at like 7 am! lol Way too excited!
Kristy
http://kristylovesherbuccos.mlblogs.com/

Now those are guys with major Moncler Jackets league time, but I would hope Louis Vuitton UK some of our young Bucs could sneak some hits in.

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