Kovacevic: Time to feed Filthy Frankie

ATLANTA -- By midday Wednesday, the champagne had yet to dissipate from the visiting clubhouse's carpet at Turner Field, the result of the Pirates' pouring out 20 cases of the stuff in that outpouring of emotion for clinching a National League playoff spot.

"Dude," one of the stadium's young clubhouse attendants began his somewhat indignant explanation when I asked why the floor still felt sticky. "We had to bring in, like a Zamboni, to clean all that up."

Right. Takes time. Dude.

Well, turned out that might not have been the only effect of the celebration, anyway, judging by the flat, unfocused, letdown-like performance -- their first all month, in fairness -- in falling to the Braves, 6-2. Jeff Locke pitched without command in conceding six runs, eight hits and five walks over four innings, and this wasn't about to become comeback victory No. 42 once all that piled up.


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