PNC Park | 1:35 | Gorzelanny vs. Ted Lilly | Box
The Pirates have played some astonishingly ugly games this year. And this one fit right in there with them. The Bucs trailed early, came back and walked away the game in extra frames.
Tom Gorzelanny couldn’t find the plate and was chased in the third. But, as Aaron pointed out in his post about the early themes of the season, the Bucs stayed competitive and fought their way back into this one.
The Bucs pulled within one in the bottom of the sixth. Trailing 8-7 with two runners in scoring position and one gone, Jason Bay ripped a low line drive in the hole between 3B and SS. But Ronny Cedeno made a nice diving catch. The Bucs tied it in the next frame courtesy of a Mark DeRosa error.
In between Gorzy and losing pitcher Evan Meek the bullpen tossed well. It was good to see a solid inning from Damaso Marte. Tyler Yates continues to pitch well. But with Meek on in the 12th he continued to look as if he is not ready for prime time. He allowed two runs in the 12th without giving up a hit. He couldn’t find the plate and walked five hitters. Two of those were intentional passes. I don’t see Meek lasting too much longer unless he figures something out.
No complaints about the offense. Nate McLlouth continues to hit well. Xavier Nady was named player of the week in the NL and had another pair of hits. Too bad Bay and Adam LaRoche aren’t doing much.
I caught part of this game on WGN this evening and they had a survey asking Cub fans what was the best Pirates/Cubs moment. Options included the homer in the gloamin’, the Cubs division clinching wins in either 1984 or 2003 or the Aramis Ramirez deal. The winner? The Ramirez deal. As far as that deal is concerned, it just keeps getting worse.
Ah, the home opener. Let the attendence decline commence.
Tom Gorzelanny toes the rubber for the home team, hoping to start on his path toward 20 wins in 2008. He is 7-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 22 career starts at PNC. In four career starts against the Wriglies, he is 2-2 with a sparkling 2.60 ERA. Gorzo’s last appearance against the Cubs was 9/23/07 and he was hit hard.
Derrek Lee is 5-9 with a homer off Gorzo. Alfonso Soriano is 2-12, but one of those hits is a round tripper.
The opponent is Ted Lilly. Like Gorzo, he is coming off his best year, but he is several years older than the Pirate hurler. Also like Gorzo, he didn’t pitch well in his first outing of 2008. He is 1-0 in two career starts at PNC. Lilly made three starts against the Bucs last year and was 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA.
Ronny Paulino is 6-8 with a homer against Lilly and is the only Pirate who has had tremendous success against him. I’d be surprised if he isn’t in there tomorrow, given that the Pirates have another day game after a night of travel from Miami to the Steel City. I also think we will see Brian Bixler start at SS. It’s the home opener, after all.
Beaver Falls native Donnie Iris, the man responsibly for the catchy and somewhat (unfortunately) forgotten Top 40 hit “Ah! Leah!” from the 1980s will sing the National Anthem.
Bill Mazeroski will toss out the first pitch and then will hold a press conference with Michael Keaton to denounce the direction of the franchise.