PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Edinson Volquez | Box
Another game, another close one. A couple of rain delays put some breaks in this contest. The Pirates got by with some defense and a lack of clutch hitting by the Reds. Cincinnati stranded 12 runneres. Nate McLouth made a nice catch in the sixth inning to prevent two runs.
Edinson Volquez was good through five innings, but didn’t make it out after the second rain delay. Jason Bay turned on a Jared Burton offering that was high and tight for the game’s only run. Paul Maholm was able to work his way out of trouble and kept the Reds off the board.
Jose Bautista is sporting some facial hair that is very similar to the way Oliver Perez used to wear his beard.
Edinson Volquez is one of two pitchers that the Reds got in exchange for the feel good story of 2007 – Josh Hamilton. Back when that trade was made, I wasn’t happy. This could be one of those trades that works well for both clubs.
Hamilton had a monster Spring Training and his AVG/OBP/SLG numbers in the early part of the regular season are similar to his totals for 2007. Volquez was the winner and impressive in his first start of 2008. He went 5-1/3 against the Phillies and struck out eight. Volquez has yet to face any Pirates.
Paul Maholm was uneven in his first start of 2008. He allowed five runs in five innings while being nailed with the loss against Florida. He will be facing a club against whom he has made the most career starts. This will be #11. He is 2-3 with a career 4.84 ERA against the Redlegs. In four starts in 2007, he was 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA.
Brandon Phillips (7-20 with three homers and seven RBI) and Edwin Encarnacion (10-23 with six RBI) have done very well against Maholm. Adam Dunn (2-20 with 8 whiffs) has not.
Bucs need to get going again after being swept by the Cubbies.
The Bucs will get to see former farmhand Jeff Keppinger tonight. He reminds of former Red – Hal Morris. Both those guys could fall out of bed in the morning and get a hit. Way back when, Keppinger and Kris Benson were traded to the Mets for Ty Wiggington, Jose Bautista and Matt Peterson. Peterson is now in AA with KC. Wiggy is in Houston and you know about Bautista. Benson hasn’t pitched since 2006. The Phillies inked him to a deal in February.
Here’s a link to the series preview from Redlegs Rundown.