The Pittsburgh Pirates fell flat in Chicago this afternoon, losing 4-1 to the Chicago Cubs as they learned four of their team members were selected to represent the National League in this year’s 2013 MLB All-Star Game on July 16 in New York. Should they make it all the way to the World Series, perhaps one of their selections will have a say in them obtaining home-field advantage.
It’s understandable that over the course of a 162 games a team is going to come out flat once in a while and without the proper mojo needed to win a game; that was exactly the case today as the Pirates could only muster four sorry singles to go along with newly selected All-Star Pedro Alvarez‘s 22nd home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning, which was the only sign of life by the Pirates in this one. The loss broke the team’s six-game road winning streak.
The Bucs will try to rebound in tomorrow’s Game 3 rubber match as AJ Burnett returns to the mound for the team after being out for nearly a month with a torn calf muscle. The 15-year veteran Burnett refused a minor-league rehab assignment, so the added pressure of stepping in without seeing a professional hitter over the last four weeks should get the second-guessers going should Burnett falter.
Andrew McCutchen, Jeff Locke, Jason Grilli and Alvarez were all selected by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy to this year’s All-Star team, making it the first time since 1981 the Pirates have sent four players to the mid-summer classic. Only Mark Melancon could be argued to have deserved a spot along with these four, but, as a set-up man, appears to be the odd man odd. With the exception of McCutchen, who will be appearing in his third All-Star Game, all will be experiencing the game for the first time.