Game #162 vs. St. Louis

PNC Park | 1:35 | Bullington vs. Troy Percival | Box
It’s official: the Pirates ended another miserable year by being swept by the diabolical Tony LaRussa who, in his ever present quest to draw attention to himself, elected to start Troy Percival, a career reliever. More than that, LaRussa tied the ML record for pitchers used in one contest with 10. Nice job, Tony. Don’t worry, we’ll never forget you.
Percy tossed just one inning and gave way to Kip Wells, who picked up the win in relief. Skip Schumaker went five for five and drove in a pair for the winners.
Bryan Bullington took the loss, but he wasn’t awful. He gave up two earned runs in five innings. 56 of his 78 pitches were for strikes. he allowed five hits and walked one. Juan Perez and Franquelis Osoria each gave up two runs in the sixth as the game slipped irretrievably away from the Buccos.
Nyjer Morgan extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Matt Kata, who was the lesser of the two injured players in last night’s collision with Jack Wilson, was kept out of the starting line up with wooziness. Wilson was released after spending the night in the hospital.
That’s all she wrote for 2007. Will 2008 be any worse?
AP recap at Yahoo! Sports
Pirates Official Site
Cardinals Official Site

Pre-game Thoughts
The best ending to this season would be if Kip Wells tossed a perfecto. Unlikely, yes. Unlikely from anyone, but perhaps especially so from the Kipster. Of course, I’m not sure who is pitching for the Cards. The AP says Wells. The Cards Official Site says Braden Looper
After allowing five earned runs in his first three starts of 2007, Wells went on a streak in which he allowed four or more runs in 8 of his next 9 starts. The one team that didn’t hit him hard in that stretch was, of course, the Pirates. That was back on May 23rd. The Pirates knocked wells from the game in the fourth inning on September 3rd.
Wells is 2-1 with a 3.38 against his former team for his career. He is 17-21 with a 3.69 at PNC. Of the Pirates likely to play in the finale, Jose Bautista has done the best. He has three hits, including a dinger off Wells.
As an aside, Wells pitched once against the Pirates before the club acquired him from the White Sox. In that game Aramis Ramirez, John Vander Wal and Rob Mackowiak collected hits. Jose Canseco suited up for the Whtie Sox. Time flies.
Looper is 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA against the Pirates in 2007. He’d never started in the Show prior to this year and managed to amass 12 wins despite have a below league average ERA. He has tossed in 26 games against the Pirates and achieved a sub-3.00 ERA over those 43-2/3 innings.
None of the Bucs have been that impressive against Looper. Nobody has more than three hits. Adam LaRoche, Jose Bautista and Ronny Paulino have all homered off him.
Going for his first ML win is Bryan Bullington. His first 2007 appearance was against St. Louis earlier this month on 9/6. It didn’t last long. He was lifted for a PH after giving up five runs in three innings pitched. Among the damage done to him was a three run homer by Rick Ankiel. That was the game that Ankiel smacked two homers and knocked in seven runs. And then it was reported that he received HGH. Good times.
Scratch all that nonsense about Wells and Looper. Tony LaRussa is inserting Troy Percival as his starter. Percy has never started before and will be setting the ML record for most career relief appearances before making a start. LaRussa must remain in the headlines at all cost.
Percival is unscored upon in 2-1/3 innings pitched at PNC. In seven innings of work against the Pirates (in seven appearances) his ERA is 1.29. Matt Kata, Adam LaRoche and Ronny Paulino are the only Pirates likely to play today that have a hit off of Percy.
Saturday Night Thoughts
It’s sad, but I’m at the point where I was actually encouraged by ND’s 14 point loss at Purdue this afternoon.

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