Pittsburgh Pirates

Nostradamus McClouth?

Steeltown MikeCorrespondent IApril 2, 2008

-- from the Sportsblog Steeltown Sports

This is a silly thing to do, but everything that needs to be said about the Pirates near-collapse Monday night has been said by all the more popular Pittsburgh-based weblogs.

I thought a way I could maybe spice up the blog here a bit would be to pull a couple of screen shots that tell the story, or at least a story of all the televised games I can find. Or, at least, remember to record.

Now, many Pirate fans thought they could breathe easier once Opening Day centerfielder Nate McClouth hit a three-run shot to right to open a four-run lead, with the team only needing to get six more outs. He hit that homer on a 2-0 pitch right down main street.

Just before he stepped into the batters box, however, Nate called his shot.

He's not looking at the first base coach. He's gauging the distance.

Of course, opening night jitters from Damaso Marte and Matt Capps saw to it that everything the Pirate offense did prior to the 12th inning was necessary only to prolong the game, but at least it all kept the Braves from winning a game that the Pirates came to take control of.

On a separate note, the lesson I learned on Opening Day was this:

Jose Bautista provided the Pirates ninth run in the top half of the ninth inning by laying down a suicide bunt.

At the time, I thought it was kind of a classless act. If they get the run by swinging away, it's a different story, but I thought that bunt was just rubbing into the Braves' faces (meaning they were going to come out and destroy the Pirates Wednesday and Thursday for retribution).

To me, it equated to a guy kicking another guy in the unmentionables while he was down.

As it turns out, that run was necessary to prevent a "typical" Pirates collapse.

Hence, the lesson learned: "Never balk at the Pirates scoring runs, no matter how they come."

Re-reading that last sentence, I suppose that should have been obvious to me.

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