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Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The rantings of a frustrated Pirates fan before 9 AM

Last night's game was a fantastic kick in the groin...thank you Lloyd.

Yeah, that's right, I'm blaming that on Lloyd. Was it all his fault? No, obviously not, since we couldn't get a clutch hit to save our lives. However, he did manage to, well, manage our way out of the game. I like Lloyd...he's a good guy, he motivates the players to try hard, but I think he lacks the capacity to think sometimes. We seem to enjoy giving the Cardinals extra chances to beat us, it's almost like its a game for him to see how many chances we can give them before they make us pay for it. Last night we got our leadoff runner on several times, yet managed to score him....never. When Mackowiak got on base in the 11th, we had a good shot at scoring him, but not to worry, Lloyd was there to have Tike try to bunt. This was probably one of the worst bunts I've seen in recent memory. Not only did he hit it right down the third base line, but he also managed to hit it hard enough that they got to it on one hop and easily threw Mackowiak out. Then telling Tike to run on the 3-2....I can't even fathom how hard he must try to lose games sometimes. Instead of pinch hitting Restovich for Cota, couldn't we have put him in for Tike? Of course I would have done that in the first place, because for some reason I feel like Restovich is a little better than Tike. But enough bitching about Tike and Lloyd.

What's going on with Jack? I know his early season slump was because of his slow recovery from an appendectomy. I had no real problem with this, while it was frustrating it's not like I could blame him for a slow start. As recently as last week it looked like he was starting to turn the corner with 2 consecutive 3-hit games. Then all of a sudden, he drops off the map. He's got 3 hits in his last 17 ABs with one official game-blowing error (last night) and 2 bad plays that essentially cost the game the night before. It's not even an issue of recovering from surgery anymore, he's just flat-out not playing well. He's not playing up to par defense, and he isn't seeing the ball at the plate at all. This year he has 8 walks and 17 K's in 158 ABs. He hasn't walked in a week. He has looked better in May than April, certainly, but even a huge improvement would still put him with average numbers. I'm not going to call for his head or say that he should be sent to Indianapolis or anything, but I do feel like once in a while he should sit a game or two and let Sanchez get some chanecs. Jack's best quality is his heart and love for the game, which would make him a great teammate from the bench, someone to rally the troops.

Other lineup notes: As much as I (and everyone else, for that matter) have hated Ward in the past, he's been one of our most consistant hitters this year. He flirted with .300 for a while (I know, not exactly amazing stuff but c'mon...its Daryle,) and he's been drawing walks lately. Yeah he struck out 3 times on Monday...everyone has a bad game here and there. Point is, in the last week he's walked 5 times. He walked only once before that all month. He's not going to be our best contact hitter or anything, but he's been driving in runs and getting himself on base lately, which is something that can't be said for the better part of our lineup.



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