June 11: Pirates (27-32) @ Braves (29-29); Bucs in power drought

_Device Memory_home_user_pictures_IMG00062.jpgA quick snapshot of Turner Field to get your day started. Check out the video board in centerfield, which certainly puts the jumbo in JumboTron. When it was put up at Turner Field a few years back, it was the largest at any ballpark or stadium. Not sure if that’s still the case across the board, but it’s certainly the biggest I’ve seen at an MLB park.

Charlie Morton, who was removed with left hamstring tightness after one inning on Wednesday, still reported some tightness on Thursday morning, though to a lesser degree. The club remains optimistic that Morton will be able to make his scheduled start on Thursday, though that will be determined for sure over the next few days.

Other than that, there’s really not much to pass along in terms of news from the Buccos clubhouse this morning other than the fact that I have to question the team’s movie taste. Bad Santa? Really?

***

No matter where you stand with your feelings about the Pirates’ decision to deal Nate McLouth, this much is certain. The Pirates have had a complete power shortage since. The team has not hit a single home run since McLouth was dealt — that totals to 309 plate appearances, assuming I did my math correctly. Jason Jaramillo’s surprising blast off Johan Santana on June 2 was the last Bucco home run.

The power was already lacking before McLouth was dealt, as the Pirates have homered in just two of their last 14 games. And until catcher Ryan Doumit returns there’s not going to be much power to be found. Really, the only legitimate power threat is first baseman Adam LaRoche and even he is only on pace to go deep 19 times this year. He’s hit at least 20 homers in each of the last four seasons.

Brandon Moss and Andy LaRoche, both of whom were expected to provide some pop in the middle of the lineup, have combined for three — yes, three — home runs in 352 at-bats this year. While Andrew McCutchen had done just fine during his first week in the Majors, he hasn’t replace McLouth’s power, nor will he.

Concerned, folks?

UPDATE 2:19 pm: Delwyn Young took care of this powerless skid with a fifth-inning solo homer on Thursday. That stopped a streak of what had escalated to 323 plate appearances for Pirates hitters sans a homer.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Nyjer Morgan (LF)
  3. Freddy Sanchez (2B)
  4. Adam LaRoche (1B)
  5. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  6. Delwyn Young (RF)
  7. Robinzon Diaz (C)
  8. Jack Wilson (SS)
  9. Paul Maholm (LHP)

Braves lineup:

  1. Nate McLouth (CF)
  2. Yunel Escobar (SS)
  3. Chipper Jones (3B)
  4. Barbaro Canizares (1B)
  5. Matt Diaz (LF)
  6. Jeff Francoeur (RF)
  7. David Ross (C)
  8. Kelly Johnson (2B)
  9. Javier Vazquez (RHP)

2 Comments

Lack of power definite concern. Bucs should try to get Craig Monroe more at bat. He is probably the Pirate with the most power. If Moss has any options left he should be sent down and they should platoon Monroe and Young in right.

As a subscriber to the MLB.com baseball ticket, I watched today’s game off the feed of the Braves TV broadcast because Pittsburgh wasn’t showing it, I also watched the Astro’s game off their broadcast the last series that we played them. I also heard the comments that Carlos Beltran said about the sweep that the Pirates put on them. What I am getting at is the gull of their announcers & Beltran to talk about the Pirates and their team. I suggest Carlos to compare the Mets team stats to the Pirates, I also want the on air broadcast teams to compare the Astros & Braves to the Pirates and you will find that they are very comparable on several stats. In fact the Pirates who are 5 games behind the Brewers are very comparable to most of the winning ball-clubs. The Braves announcers were on air today saying they expect the Pirates to unload Jack Wilson, Adam LaRoche, & Freddie Sanchez before the trade deadline, I wanted to climb through the screen and question them why should the Pirates unload these players and why doesn’t the Braves unload their players, because looking at the stats and watching the Pirates during this season, I see a quality baseball team with good pitching, hitting and a power hitter away from competing for the Division title ! They also made the comment when Matt Capps came into the game that he is very good but doesn’t get the opportunity to close very often because the Pirates are a bad ball-club, REALLY!!! Looking at the stats that is available on this web site, he has had more opportunities then the Braves,( 23-20) The offense is 4th in the league in average, 2nd in doubles, 1st in triples. What they lack is a bonafide HR hitter, defensively they are 3rd in the NL, 1st in DP’s, & they have been in several games that didn’t go their way. Now, all teams go through injury issues but the Pirates sure miss Ryan Doumit, who I am sure would bring this team a few more wins at this point in the season, I am sick and tired of losing, I am sick & tired of the other teams players, announcers, and the media in general who think that just because we have had 16 consecutive losing seasons in this league that we are their doormat for this season. I will be pissed if Huntington trades away the season because of payroll, I think that they can stay in the hunt for this season, that is what the fans are waiting for and dagnabit so am I !! Just imagine this team with Raul Ibanez on it !!!!

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