Game #120 vs. Phillies

PNC Park | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. J.D. Durbin | Box
Tom Gorzelanny was off a bit tonight. The Bucs were leading when the Phils put three across in the fifth. The big blow was a three run tater from Aaron Rowand. Shane Youman relieved him in the sixth and allowed four more runs to put the game out of reach.
The Pirates, for the third straight game, made a late charge. Pittsburgh’s offense got in gear against the Philly bullpen, scoring five times over the final three innings. Two of those runs came off former Bucco Jose Mesa, who had previously been unscored upon in the second half of the year (13 appearances and 12 IP).
J.D. Durbin was money for Philadelphia. The Pirates managed three runs off him despite getting just four hits in six innings.
The Pirates hit three homers. They were courtesy of Matt Kata, Ronny Paulino and Jose Bautista. That’s just the fourth time in the second half the Pirates have hit three or more homers.
If you are wondering – and I know you are given my recent J.J. Furmaniak and J.J Hardy tidbit – if J.D. Durbin was involved in the first game that featured two players named J.D., the answer is no. J.D. Drew and J.D. Smart faced each other on 5/1/99 marking the first time two players named J.D. faced each other.

Pre-game Thoughts
82 loss watch: Bucs need to go 32-11 to prevent another sub .500 season. 20-23 will get the team to 70 wins and that seems unlikely. Have I mentioned that I’m normally an optimist?
As the preview notes at Yahoo! Sports, the Phillies big boppers are struggling. Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard and Aaron Rowand did not look especially sharp against the Nationals in their most recent series.
That’s good news for Tom Gorzelanny. He has been back on his game after a layoff with shoulder trouble. His two starts since them have both been wins with the most recent one being in the form of a shutout against SF. Gorzo has never faced the Phillies. The only member of the Phillies roster to bat against Gorzo is Wes Helms. He is hitless in two at bats with a walk and a whiff.
J.D. Durbin steps into a start in place of Adam Eaton. He’s had an interesting year. He was a former second round pick of the Twins. They waived him in Spring Training. Arizona picked him up and he was drilled in his first (and only) Snake appearance, allowing 7 runs and getting two outs. He was DFA’d and eventually wound up in Philly. He was so-so for Ottawa, going 2-4 with a 4.55 ERA in 10 games. The Phillies brought him up in late June and he was bombed in his first appearance in Philly. That was June 29 against the Mets. He started and gave up six runs and left after 4-2/3. Since then he’s been good. His ERA since then is 3.06 in 32-1/3 innings pitched. That includes wins in three straight starts in July, one of which was a complete game shutout over San Diego.
One of those wins came on July 28 against the Pirates and it was his worst pitched game since the All-Star break. He allowed five runs in five innings. Six of the eight Pirate position players had a hit off him. Freddy Sanchez homered against him.
Thursday Night Thoughts
Against my better judgment, I am an assistant coach for my son’s soccer team. Had the first league meeting Wednesday night. I don’t like soccer.
The Rajai Davis Phenomena is astounding. He’s had a hit every game he’s started for SF and he seems to make a great catch every game. Certainly this can’t and won’t continue.

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3 Responses to “Game #120 vs. Phillies”

  1. Randy Linville Says:

    Good point, Travis. I agree. Giving a guy a couple straight weeks worth of starts – especially on a team that is headed nowhere (Bucs and Giants fall in that category) – to see what he can do is better than figuring out what he can do with spot starts and pinch running appearances.
    As long as Rajai Davis continues to play well, I reserve the right to refer to him as the Rajai Davis Phenomena.

  2. Travis Says:

    Not that Rajai will be an All-Star or even average, but it is easier to play the game when you are not afraid of being benched when you make a mistake. Yeah these guys are professionals and that shouldn’t matter, but they are human and it does. Evaluating guys correctly that PH and get a spot start occasionally is tough to do.

  3. Cory Humes Says:

    Live blog of McCutchen, Walker, Pearce and the rest of the Indy Indians tonight at WHYGAVS:
    http://whereisvanslyke.blogspot.com/2007/08/walker-and-mccutchen-liveblog.html


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