Maholm Struggles And Offense Disappears As Pirates Lose Home Opener To Rockies

By Chad Carlson

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

After a very surprisingly successful road trip, the Pittsburgh Pirates came home to PNC Park for their first home stands of the 2011 regular season.  The Buccos opened up a four-game series this afternoon against the Colorado Rockies, who have also had a strong start to the season.  Paul Maholm took the mound for the Pirates today to face off against the RockiesEsmil Rogers.
Unfortunately, both of our predictions were incorrect on this day.  Colorado would ruin the Pirates’ opening day celebration as they dismantled our Buccos at PNC Park, 7-1.
One of the main contributing factors to the Pirates’ productive road trip was, without a doubt, the starting pitching.  Unfortunately, that did NOT carry over to today’s game, as Maholm was hit early and often, and didn’t put together the quality start the Pirates needed in their home-opener.

Take a look at the first Fans From The Stands Pregame Show of the 2011 Season:

Paul gave up five runs (three earned), on eight hits through 5.2 innings, and he was tagged with the loss today.  His defense certainly didn’t help him either.  Neil Walker’s throwing error on a play which appeared to be a routine double-play ball by Carlos Gonzalez allowed the Rockies to get on the board in the first inning.  After Troy Tulowitzki’s sacrifice fly, Colorado took a 2-0 lead before the Pirates even came to bat.
As disappointing as Maholm’s performance was today, the offensive production was even worse.  The Buccos’ first two batters of the game, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker, both got on base with singles, leaving runners at first and third base with no outs.  Andrew McCutchen was able to get Tabata home on a sacrifice ground out, but after that, the offense disappeared.  In fact, the Pirates didn’t even tally another hit until the eighth inning.
Tulowitzki was the hitting star of the day for the Rockies, going 2-3 with a homerun and three RBI.  Colorado scattered 11 hits on the Pirates’ pitching staff, including two runs on three hits off Chris Resop, who didn’t even pitch a full inning.  On one of the only bright notes of the afternoon, Garrett Olson and Mike Crotta each pitched scoreless baseball over the last 2.2 innings of the game.
The Pirates managed only four hits this afternoon.  McCutchen, Lyle Overbay, Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Doumit, and Garrett Jones were all held hitless on the afternoon.  After the first inning, the team only had two hits over the next eight innings.  Embarrassing. 
This was, by far, the most frustrating game of the season so far for fans.  Not only was the starting pitching putrid, but the offense was stagnant, and didn’t put up a fight once the team got down by 3+ runs.  The lack of energy and enthusiasm in the dugout and the field was apparent from the onset, which is unbelievably mind-blowing considering it was the home-opener.  As Zane-The-Train stated in the post-game show (below), this performance was VERY reminiscent of last year’s team, which is unacceptable. 

Fans From The Stands Postgame Show:

The Pirates will look to get back on the winning track tomorrow evening at PNC Park against the RockiesRoss Ohlendorf will take the hill for the Buccos, hoping to build off his last start and get the pitching staff back on track.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Record Vs. Rockies:  0-1
Record Vs. N.L. West:  0-1
Record At Home:  0-1
Overall Record:  4-3
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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