September 2 @ St. Louis Cardinals

Shawn Chacon’s ERA is 6.75.  Jeff Weaver’s is 5.92.  Both pitched in the American League earlier in 2006, and both were awful.  Chacon and Weaver were imported to the NL Central, and they have continued to be less than impressive.

Saturday night, the Pirates shut out the Cardinals, 1-0.   The starting pitchers?  Shawn Chacon and Jeff Weaver.

How it happened, no one knows.  When I hear "Chacon shutout," I think of phrases like jumbo shrimp, pretty ugly, and same difference.  There are no better example of oxymorons.

Do I think that Shawn Chacon will ever put up numbers like he did in 2004?  No.  His career year stats weren’t even that impressive–eight wins, ten losses, and a middle-3’s ERA–and in his single season of work as a closer, he went 1-9 with a 7.11 earned run average and nine blown saves.  Do I think that Littlefield got fleeced in the Wilson-Chacon deal?  Yes.  Do I have a feeling that DL might be praying for starts like these from Chacon so that he can keep him around for 2007 to make himself look less idiotic?  Yes, unfortunately.  I have nightmares about that.

It’s not like Shawn pitched all that well Saturday.  His 5 IP, 4 H, 4 BB line easily could have led to three or four runs instead of zero.  The horses in the bullpen, Matt Capps and Salomon Torres, did the lion’s share of the shutout’s work, tossing four brilliant innings of relief.  My doubts about Torres’ spot in the 2007 pen are being erased with each appearance he makes.  And though it’s probably not appropriate to talk about bright spots on an 82 loss team, Capps has to be one of many (think Sanchez, Gonzo, Paulino, Gorzo, et al).  It was impossible to predict a 6-1, 3.41 ERA year from a kid who started 2005 in A ball.

Since I haven’t done it for awhile, let’s take a trip around the bigs as we enter the last month of the regular season…

  • If the playoffs started right now, you’d see playoff matchups of Yankees-White Sox and Tigers-A’s in the AL and Mets-Padres and Cardinals-Dodgers in the NL.  Those could lead to some interesting LCS and World Series matchups.  A Subway Series?  Definite possibility.
  • There’s almost a full month of baseball to be played, however, so the eight teams within five games of the wild card lead in the National League still have a legitimate shot at being on the field in October.  Heck, even the Bucs are only 15.5 games behind San Diego.
  • I’d really like to see the Phillies overtake the Padres just so I can watch Ryan Howard play another four games.  If the rumors were true and we could’ve gotten Howard for Oliver Perez within the past year, DL is more of a fool than I already think he is.  I mean, it’s not like the biggest need for the 2007 roster is a LHB that can mash.  Oh wait, it is.  It sure would be nice to have the league leader in HR sandwiched in a lineup between batting average champion Freddy Sanchez and perennial All-Star Jason Bay.
  • September 6 is Roberto Clemente Day around MLB.

As an aside, I’m going to be in Cincinnati this coming weekend for a birthday celebration.  It’s no coincidence that the Bucs are also playing the Reds starting Friday.  If anyone who knows anything about Cincy happens to stop by A New Pirates Generation before then, I’d greatly appreciate a comment letting me know the city’s (and ballpark’s) hotspots.  Thanks in advance!

Today, it’s a Snell-Reyes matchup.  Should be fun to watch–but then again, last night’s game was supposed to be a flop.  Guess we’ll find out a little after 2 p.m. EST.  I’m in the mood to take another series from the division leaders, how about you?

It’s A New Pirates Generation, everybody shout "Let’s Go Bucs!"

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