PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Ricky Nolasco | Box
The Bucs ended their losing streak and Nate McLouth’s hitting streak was stopped. Paul Maholm was sharp over six innings, allowing just a first inning run and striking out six. After the rough first inning, he faced the minimum 12 hitters over the next four innings.
Ricky Nolasco was just as tough. He had given up only one base knock through five innings. He unraveled in the sixth. With two gone and two on, Ryan Doumit sliced a line drive into the left-center gap. Josh Willingham made a diving attempt and the ball tipped off the edge of his glove for a game tying double. Xavier Nady hit a blooping liner in front of Willingham to score another pair.
In the 8th, John Grabow was called on to put out a two on, one gone fire and did so without being scored upon. Matt Capps picked up the save with a scoreless 9th.
Good win. Good game. No errors. Good pitching. It was overdue.
I thought Bob Nutting did pretty well this morning on The Early Show. He wasn’t nearly as wooden as I thought he’d be.
This one slipped past me the other day: the Astros signed for Pirate farmhand Alay Soler to a minor league deal.
Ricky Nolasco is back in the Marlins rotation after missing most of 2007 with elbow issues. He is armed with a change up. He has made two starts in 2008 after making two appearances out of the bullpen. His starts have not gone well.
The Pirates faced Nolasco in one of his five appearances in 2007. But overall, this current group has struggled against him. As a team, they are just 9-48 with one XBH (a double from Ryan Doumit).
Maholm’s first start of 2008 came against Florida. Despite giving up five runs in five IP and getting the loss, he actually looked pretty good as he struck out a career best 9 hitters. Maholm has yet to pitch past the sixth inning in any of this three starts and is looking for his first W.
The Marlins are only hitting .230 as a club against Maholm. But, they have slugged seven homers in 74 at bats.
Please check out The Early Show this morning. Owner Bob Nutting will be interviewed about the Pirates green initiative. Should be fascinating.