I was lucky enough to make the match on Saturday between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, here is a piece of trivia for you, are also often known as the “Bucs”, or the “Buccos” – derived from ‘ buccaneer ‘ a synonym for pirate.
The Pirates were beaten by 5-4 in a rare victory by the National’s when Stephen Strasburg starts – he managed to strike out eight in seven innings, giving his team the chance to win the game and him one of his outings for the first time since Opening Day. Strasburg is 1-4 with a 3.45 ERA in seven starts this season; hopefully he will continue to do a good job.
The Nationals scored more than three runs for the first time in seven games, but had only six hits so this led to some mixed results for most of the afternoon. Pirate’s starter Jeff Locke allowed three of those during his five-plus innings, conceding four runs, three earned, with three walks and three strikeouts.
Thanks to Ian Desmond’s sacrifice fly in the third snapped a 15-plus scoreless inning streak by Locke. Locke said that everything felt pretty good and that he just needed to be a little bit more efficient early in the count. Let’s hope some lessons were learnt because there is no doubt that the Pirates are a great team, especially in light of the fact that they are a major league Baseball club and play in the Central Division of the National League. They are also five-time World Series champions.
Having been going since 1887, the Pirates have had many ups and downs during their long history, but have only lost two of the seven World Series. The five that the Pirates won were all seven-game Series. After a run of regular-season successes in the early 1990s when they made the NLCS for three straight years, the Pirates have struggled in recent decades, with 20 consecutive losing seasons to date, the longest in North American professional sports history.
All the Pirates’ seven runs in the series have come by way of home run’s. So surely now is the time for them to seriously take a look at why they lost to the National’s – blame no one and look for constructive criticism. The game was frustrating to watch as on one hand, the Pirates walked six hitters, hit three batters, gave the Nationals three runs on bad defensive plays by Barmes and Marte that are supposed to anchor the defense, and what about the base-runners in the top of the ninth inning of a tie game ? Then, on the other hand, the Pirates played a close game against a good team where the starting pitching couldn’t get out of the fifth inning but why didn’t they use either of their best relievers?
So come on Pirates – you are a great team – let’s see a win next game.
About The Author:
Jeff Warren is a professional writer who has been working overseas for the past thirteen years as a sports writer for various different types of publications. His articles have also been published on various websites and are a great source for obtaining quality information about the latest sports gossip and betting odds.