Game #143 vs. Chicago

PNC Park | 1:35 | Morris vs. Steve Trachsel | Box
Freddy Sanchez knocked in four runs, including a bases clearing triple to cap a six run second, and Matt Morris was good enough for the win.
Jason Kendall put the Cubs up 2-0 in the top of the second with a single. The Pirates scored six runs with six hits off Trachsel in the home half of the inning. Sanchez came up with the bases loaded and two gone and emptied them. I haven’t seen the clip, but he was thrown out at home going for an inside the park homer.
The Bucs added another two innings later when Nyjer Morgan singled in Jack Wilson. Both Morgan and Wilson had two hits. Morgan drove in a pair and Wilson scored three times.
Chicago chipped away at the lead. Alfonso Soriano clubbed a two run homer off Morris. Geovany Soto hit his first MLB tater, a solo shot, off of Romulo Sanchez. That made it 7-5.
But the Pirates took advantage of some wildness from Kerry Wood. He loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks. Jose Castillo pinch hit and delivered a two run double. Sanchez later drove home another on a fielder’s choice for the final tally.
The offense was pretty well spread out. The starting 8 reached base two times each, except for Adam LaRoche who contributed a single and a run scored.
Jason Bay sat out.
AP recap at Yahoo! Sports

Pre-game Thoughts
Today’s mound opponent is a former Cub who has returned home. The Cubs got Trachsel from Baltimore to bolster their pitching. He lost his only start with the North Siders in 2007. He pitched six innings and gave up three runs against the Dodgers on 9/4. He did not face the Pirates in 2007, but is 5-8 with a respectable 3.16 ERA in 16 career appearances. This will be his second appearance at PNC Park.
No Pirate has done well against Trachsel. Adam LaRoche is 5-20 with a homer. Nobody else has more than one hit, other than Freddy Sanchez who is 2-2. Jack Wilson is 1-13 and Cesar Izturis is 1-10. Can the Bucs start Don Kelly at SS? Jason Bay is 1-6.
Matt Morris lost in his only start against the Cubs in 2007. That was back on July 19 when he was still with San Francisco. He is 1-2 as a Pirate and 8-9 overall in 2007. Career against Chicago, Morris is 11-8 with a 4.45 ERA.
Morris hasn’t fooled too many of the Cubs boppers. Derrek Lee is 10 for 28 with four homers. Aramis Ramirez is 15 for 43 with three taters. Cliff Floyd is just 7-28 but five of his hits (two doubles and three dingers) went for extra bases. Daryle Ward is 9-24. In less exposure, Alfonso Soriano is 4-6.
Saturday Night Thoughts
Not much went well on the TV Saturday. The Pirates were shut down by Z. ND was drilled by Penn State and Justine Henin won easily. I just don’t care much for her.

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