Game #2 at Atlanta

Turner Field | 7:10 | Gorzelanny vs. Jair Jurrjens | Box
It was just too much to ask to have a perfect season. Just ask the Patriots. That type of drama was washed away from the Pirates in the second game. More specifically, the game was put out of reach in another disastrous late inning bullpen display.
Tom Gorzelanny pitched well enough in his first start of the year. He was touched for single runs in three of his six frames. He left with the Pirates trailing 3-2 as rookie Jair Jurrjens was sharp. He held the Pirates scoreless through five innings, then gave up a two run single to Xavier Nady (the NL MVP if the players went on strike and the season ended today).
It took three Pirate pitchers to yield seven runs in the 8th. It started with a leadoff walk to Chipper Jones by his former teammate Tyler Yates. Damaso Marte replaced Yates. He gave up a two run homer to Mark Teixeira and three straight singles that plated another. Game. Set. Match. But, the Braves, realizing that no lead is apparently safe, tacked on some more. Evan Meek made his ML debut and was treated poorly by the host team. They pounded him for four runs. Three of them came on a homer from Yunel Escobar after Freddy Sanchez committed a throwing error. I haven’t seen the play. But, naturally I’m wondering if Freddy’s injury has anything to do with it. Of course, he was also involved in a pair of DPs. So, maybe I’m paranoid.
I have dubbed Jurrjens the Collosus of Curacao. Use it liberally.
Nice piece on the history of hair in MLB at ESPN’s Page 2. What Oscar Gamble was to MLB, Darnell Hillman was to the ABA.

Pre-Game Thoughts
Tonight’s mound opponent, Jair Jurrjens will be making his NL debut. He was acquired by Braves last October for Edgar Renteria. If the name sounds familiar it is because Jurrjens was one of the players rumored to have been offered by Detroit when they were interested in Jack Wilson. This was Cory Hume’s take on Jurrjens in a separate post:

Jair Jurrjens, 21, was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2003. His progression through the Tigers’ organization has been smooth, never repeating a level until this season. At Double-A Erie, Jurrjens has a 3.32 ERA through 105.2 innings—perhaps signaling that he’s ready for a new challenge. He’s ranked fourth among Tigers prospects by Baseball America behind Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin—two of the best young players in the game—and Brent Clevlen.

Jurrjens was 7-5 last year in AA in 19 starts. He struck out three times as many hitters as he walked and had a 3.20 ERA. He made seven starts last year for Detroit and posted just about a league average ERA while going 3-1. He turned 22 in January of this year.
Going for the Bucs is Tom Gorzelanny. Like Ian Snell, Gorzy’s second half wasn’t nearly as good as his first half was last year. He was 9-4 with a 3.10 ERA before the break. Then went just 5-6 with an ERA of just over 5.00 after the break.
His lone career appearance against Atlanta came last season in his first start after the All-Star Break. He allowed four runs in six innings and got a no-decision. Take a look at the link. The Bucs mounted a comeback against the newly acquired Tyler Yates. In that game Andruw Jones homered off Gorzo. Jones, like Jurrjens, is from the island of Curacao. The Braves have a strict “only one player from Curacao” policy. So, Jones was allowed to walk as a free agent after Jurrjens was acquired.
Press Pass notes are up.

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2 Responses to “Game #2 at Atlanta”

  1. Aaron Benedict Says:

    I will be interesting to see how the Gorz will react after being abused at the end of last season. Matt, thanks for the one player from Curacao rule. I thought the Jones left because of money, but now I know the truth!

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