Speaking in an objective fashion concerned with the big picture and not 11 games, these two wins over the Reds should do little to change anyone’s opinion about this team. Based on their record, they are on pace for an 88 win season. Based on runs scored and runs allowed, they are on pace for a 59 win season. These two numbers may not converge completely by game 162, but they will almost certainly get a whole heck of a lot closer than they are right now. When the biggest concern around a 4-5 team is that most of their wins have come in close games but they’ve gotten demolished in all of their losses, two last at-bat wins doesn’t actually change that concern.
And yet, subjectively, the two walkoff wins do change something. There’s not really any empirical evidence for something like this, but maybe the two big clutch performances from Lastings Milledge will get his bat going. Maybe this is exactly what a team full of young players trying to prove themselves needs. That’s probably not the case, but as fans we have to try to talk ourselves into it, at least a little bit.
Paul Maholm tries to keep things alive today against Bronson Arroyo, who’s been mostly excellent since mid-season 2009. Because of strong performances from DJ Carrasco and Evan Meek, the pressure’s not as strongly on Maholm as it might be after a four-inning Dan McCutchen start, except that those two are obviously unavailable in the pen this afternoon.
First pitch is at 1:35, Clemente/Cangelosi is after the jump.
Not sure what this is? Check here and here. Short version: in the comments pick the Pirates you think will be most and least valuable in today’s game. If you haven’t jumped aboard yet, it’s been a lot of fun through so far and now’s as good a time as any to join in.
Yesterday’s game really shows the volatility of WPA late in a close game. The Pirates’ chances took a slow and gradual decline between the third and eighth innings, then spiked when the bases loaded for Andrew McCutchen, then spiked back in the wrong direction when he lined out to Chris Dickerson, and finally rocketed back up with Lastings Milledge’s walk and Garrett Jones’ single. Milledge gets the Clemente honors for the game because his walk took them from a one-run deficit with two outs to a tie game with the winning run on third and two outs. Jones’ single took the line the rest of the way to 100 and so he’s the runner up. Andrew McCutchen’s hard-hit line-out to left nearly swallowed the Pirates’ chances of winning, so the system makes him the goat. Jeff Clement’s 0-for-3 night, especially his leadoff groundout in the ninth, make him the second goat, just nipping Dan McCutchen.
Here are today’s standings; make sure you check the lineups before you make your picks since it’s a Sunday and JR will probably move guys around a bit.
- Woodward -14
- Wizard of Woz, dafletch, hwtrine86 – 7
- UtesFan89 – 6
- North Shore Ryan, brian2, Carnegie Chip, whygavs, hisjazziness- 5
- IndianaJohns04, dboz, appeal2smail – 4
- TomKaikis, apk, Joek, tylerrcurtis, apk, TheJewelryMan! – 3
- PatrickHealy, Fruitbat, shsteimer, bwzimmerman, Garrett22 – 2
- FSU Bucs, Christy, MattB, Mr. Ando, appeal2smail – 1
- Everyone else – 0
- NSN, CoryR, Mosca, ndbrian, J. Latrobe, wk kortas, danatural – (-1)