This game had all the ingredients for a Pirate loss, from poor offense in the first half of the game, to a late comeback attempt, all the way to the wild pitch that allowed the winning run to score in the 9th. We as Pirate fans have seen it before.
But the biggest reason for this loss was poor defensive play by middle infielders Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez. With one out in the 1st inning, Sanchez misplayed a Cristian Guzman ground ball, allowing Guzman to reach base. The next batter bounced to short, but Sanchez was slow on the turn and could not complete the double play. Thus, the inning continued and the Nationals scored one run. With the Pirates down 2-1 in the 5th, Zach Duke faced a bases loaded, one out situation. He did his job, inducing a ground ball to short. This time, Wilson bobbled the double play ball, leading to three more runs. Zach Duke pitched well today, but his defense let him down.
Adam LaRoche hit a game-tying three-run home run in the 8th inning, but a wild pitch from Salomon Torres in the 9th gave the Nationals the victory.
I'm off to New York in the morning, and will be at Yankee Stadium for Friday's game. I am not sure whether I will have access to the internet during the trip, so I may not be posting for a few days. But I will provide a recap of Friday's game by the beginning of next week.