The Pittsburgh Pirates scored a run in the first and three more in the last,but the seven innings in between were unproductive and that was the difference in a 5-4 loss to the Cardinals in St.Louis.
Nate McLouth blasted his 13th homer of the season in the opening
inning and Jason Michaels provided the other three courtesy of a bases clearing,three run pinch hit double in the final stanza to bring the Bucs within one run.
This is the role that I envisioned Michaels having some success in-top batter off the bench and 4th outfielder.
That was the problem in Cleveland for Michaels,they wanted to use him in an everyday role and expected his performance to be strong,when he is not suited for that type of role.
Zach Duke pitched reasonably well after getting an extra day of rest,but picked up the loss (2-4) in allowing three runs (two earned),five hits,walking just one (nice to type that) and striking out two in six innings.
The unearned run that Duke allowed was a direct descendant of a Duke throwing error in the second and that brings me to a personal pet peeve that bugs me every time that this topic comes up-If the pitcher makes an error and it leads to a run-the run should be earned.
That will not be changing anytime soon,but it does not bother me any less.
Tyler Yates continued his recent run of uninspired efforts with two runs allowed in his one inning and even though it didn't look that important at the time,it would wind up making the difference in the game.
The four game series continues tonight at 7:15 by the Arch.
Pittsburgh:Paul Maholm (2-5 5.11 ERA) at St.Louis:Mike Parisi (0-1 2.87 ERA) 7:15
What is it about teams hiring coaches just because they talk about the game on television?
It seems like bad coaches get jobs,if they just stay in the media long enough for teams to forget about their shortcomings as coaches.
As I called (and Ryan will attest to),there is a sucker born every minute as the Tampa Bay Lightning looks like they will be the team that bites on the hook that is Barry Melrose and returns him to the rink.
I know that the only Cup final that the Los Angeles Kings ever appeared in was under Melrose,but he had Wayne Gretzky on his team!
Shouldn't that have been expected????
And the same goes for Doug Collins and a return to the Chicago Bulls as well,although I liked Collins as a player in my youth and now as an analyst for TNT, I dislike him greatly as a coach.
I simply do not understand the theory that a coach lacked success,but because he talks the game on television that makes him worthy of another job.
At least Melrose has waited some time before getting his second shot,unlike Collins,who failed in two previous returns from the booth (Detroit and Washington).
Only in sports,can you get a job for being away for a period of time after failing in the past and doing nothing to improve your resume'.
Try that in the real world.
Speaking of the real world-here is a shout "at" to two big companies that are screwups.
First,lets give it up to UPS for losing my Indianapolis Indians card set and costing me a shot at some extra players for the collection.
The I-Tribe put my cards right in the mail and got them to Laurel,MD in about 36 hours and there they promptly disappeared and showed as sitting in Laurel for 8 days and still counting.
And how about those folks at Verizon,who after I have had an unlisted phone for the last 16 years and I pay for that "privilege",leaves an automated message on my machine that "due to an error" my phone number is in the their next phone book release.
I think that my good friends at Verizon should be more than sorry "automated style" and we will see just how sorry that they are on Monday when I hold a live person accountable for their error.
The New Jersey Devils signed Anssi Salmela from the Finnish league yesterday.
I have never seen Salmela play,so I have no idea whether the 23 year old defenseman will be given a chance to make the big club or is Lowell bound.
Salmela led all defensemen in his league last season with 16 goals.
Tonight is Justin Maxwell t-shirt day for the Hagerstown Suns and it looks like a nice shirt.
Remember-we compliment AND criticize when it is warranted!
My mock draft for the Pirates over at MinorLeagueBall is this afternoon,so look for a recap in a day or two.
Our good friend Wooden hates drafts and looks at affiliated prospects vs those of the independent variety here.
Not sure if I agree,but he brings some different perspectives.
I have not forgot about the Allentown post,I just want to get some pictures for the post first.
Michaels:Tom Gannon-AP Photo