The Pirates won a baseball game on Tuesday due to a walk-off home run from none other than Rod Barajas. The Bucs looked all but done after Adam LaRoche mashed a 2 run blast off of Joel Hanrahan to ruin his save opportunity and take the lead.
Casey McGehee lead off the 9th by flying out to right. Boy isn't he starting to look awfully below average? Every start he gets, he looks more and more like 2011 Casey McGehee. My guess? He was probably a product of a ballpark in which the ball launches off anybody's bat (I mean really, Andy LaRoche hit a ball off of the second deck in left field).
In 2010, which would probably be considered his career year, McGehee hit a mediocre .728 away from Miller Park. I think people usually overrate the effect that protection has in a lineup, but it's probably fair to say that McGehee saw plenty of good pitches with both Braun and Fielder ahead of him. Those guys were ALWAYS on base, you don't want to walk a guy when there are runners on. McGehee isn't going to get that treatment here.
But I digress...
So McGehee flys out. Presley pinch hits for Watson next. Presley fights a blooper into center field for a base hit. Talk about clutch. Presley pinch hit on Saturday and came up with a game winning home run.
Who's up next? Barmes. Hurdle says "Son of a...who the hell wants to bat." Navarro raises his hand, he goes to the plate. After Rodriguez unleashes a couple of wild pitches to get to third base, Navarro can't even come up with a productive out to get Presley home with just one out. He strikes out. 2 outs.
Barajas comes to the plate. You know, the guy with like a .00048 OPS? The guy with no RBIs and no home runs? The guy that likely made hundreds of Pirate fans turn off their TVs and resume their nightly routine?
Barajas gets a cream pie to the face...ehhh let me reword that...
Yeah, Barajas comes up and cracks a bomb. Pirates win.
Here is the Greg Brown call that was compiled, thanks to raisethejollyroger.com
Alright he kinda freaks out, nothing new there.
But really, what a game. What can you even say? Did he redeem himself? Heeeeelll no. Barajas has been beyond awful, so bad this year. BUT, he did come through in the clutch against a team that leads one of the toughest divisions in baseball.
Baseball is an odd game. How does this happen? Burnett gives up 12 runs, then strikes out 10. Barajas looks worse than a high school bench player, then crushes a bomb to win the team a ball game.
It just goes to show how everything we think we know about baseball goes out the window when that baseball is on its way to the plate. All of our stats, sabremetrics, analysis, predictions...etc, etc. Garbage. Useless. Shit. That's why the game is so great.
Getting back to the game again, what about Joel Hanrahan. He has not been good this year, and I think he NEEDS to be on his way out of town. The Yankees look like they aren't going to be pursuing anyone, Robertson seems more than qualified for their closer position, but several other teams may be in need.
Closers are overrated, I think that idea has become more and more widespread throughout baseball, so why not deal Hanrahan while he still has good value? Closers come and go like no other position in baseball, the Pirates NEED to cash in and grab a bat for him while they can.
Who would we put in his place? Brad Lincoln. Yeah, the first rounder who was supposed to be a top of the rotation guy? Why? Because he still has top of the rotation stuff. He has the mid nineties fast ball and the ridiculous curveball. Don't think that's enough to be a closer? How many pitches does Hanrahan have? 2. That's all you need, but I think Lincoln has more than that.
Lincoln has been effective this year, and I see no reason why he couldn't handle the 9th inning role.
Or maybe we should just put Rod Barajas at closer...you never know.