this was one of those losses. leading 2-nill in the 9th inning, "previously 4 for 4" salomon torres decided to emit shades of jose mesa (or mike williams...ew). torres let 2 runs score in the ninth, blowing his first save of the year. the buccos hung around until the 12th, but paulino couldnt hold on to a jason bay throw on a sacrifice fly, and the cards prevailed 3-2. bautista homered, and the pirates squandered a quality outing by gorzo. having never faced pujols before, gorzo got sir albert out 3 times to end innings (read that last line again)! why is this important? uh...take a look at alberts numbers against the pirates entering this season (thanks to albert pujols club). its losses like this that have me wondering if the buccos can take that next step, and actually compete in the central this year. if not, us loyal fans can settle down and take in another long, hard-to-watch season.
enough with the past, and on to the future. the pens are about 7 1/2 hours away from their first playoff game since 2001. i sometimes feel a little weird, because im way too pumped for the second season to start. with the success the pens had this season, as well as the whole arena/kansas city/las vegas ordeal and the maturation of staal, geno, maf and sid, the playoffs are basically the icing on the cake. i do agree with ray shero, though, that the pens cannot be satisfied by simply being in the playoffs, and must be prepared for a long run (get that playoff beard going larrybrownsports! i want pictures...just kiddin). ottawa has been somewhat shaky (im being nice by saying somewhat) in the playoffs in the past few years, and bryan murray isnt necessarily the most playoff-savvy coach (dude has never made it out of the 2nd round, in the pros and in the minors). that doesnt really mean anything this year, but its good to know.
scott burnside of espn.com wrote a story about sid that was both compelling and rich (thanks, ron burgandy). it actually made the front of espn.com (what?...hockey news on espn? you gotta be kidding). this comes only days after scotty picked the sens to win the series in 5 games. way to straddle that fence, scott! (side note: another reason to get angry at espn: the first time i clicked on espn.com today, the site crashed each site i had open, and i had to completely rewrite this entry. looks like espn has changed tactics from bashing sites on espn radio to crashing browser windows.)
thats all for now. mpotd will be coming up soon. i know you cant wait. neither can i.