Game #68: Bucs Blow Early Lead; .500 is Still a Dream

Camden Yards | 7:05 | Dumatrait vs. Brian Burres | Box
I believe I committed one of the seven deadly sins tonight. With the Pirates leading 6-1 after three, I began having greedy thoughts. Thoughts of a .500 club on June 13 or later for the first time since (I had to look it up) 1999 when the team was 32-29. A couple of weeks later, Jason Kendall’s ankle blew up. And that was that.
So, tonight I allowed my mind to wander to a place it rarely goes – optimism in June. Not the kind of optimism that will see meaningful September games. But the kind of optimism that says my favorite club will no longer be a laughingstock. At this point, it is all I will allow myself.
Baltimore scored three times in the fifth on two walks, two singles and a ground out RBI to pull within 6-5. The next inning, Franquelis Osoria let it get away. Three singles and a walk plated two more. The O’s tacked on a run in the 7th and another in the 8th to win 9-6.
Jason Michaels provided the big blow – a three run homer in the third. But the Pirates offense went dormant. O’s hurlers retired the final 17 Pirate batter as their offense mounted a come back.
Osoria was the loser in relief of Phil Dumatrait. The Bucs starter went five innings and gave up five runs, five hits and five walks. Osoria gave up two, as did Sean Burnett who continues to pitch like he doesn’t belong.
Brian Burres settle in nicely to get the win. Jim Johnson and George Sherrill tossed perfect relief to wrap up the win.

Pre-Game Thoughts
Is Kiko Garcia playing? Bucs make their first trip to Baltimore since the 1979 World Series. Not so much on the line today, but still a win would put the club back at .500. Perhaps in my head all the losing runs together because I had no idea the Pirates were this bad in interleague play.
Brian Burres will get his turn after being skipped last time around. His last three starts have been problematic. He has not completed the fifth inning in any of them and his ERA has risen over a run-and-a-half to almost 5.00. Overall he is 4-5 with an 86 ERA+. This will be his first appearance against the Pirates.
The lefthanded change up specialist was a 31st round draft pick of the Giants many moons ago in 2000. He had a couple of solid years pitching at high A and then AA before being DFA’d by the Giants. He was picked up by Baltimore and has made over 60 appearances in the Show. The only Pirates to hit against Burres are Doug Mientkiewicz (2-5) and Jason Michaels (0-2).
The de facto ace is going for the Bucs. After moving into the rotation, Phil Dumatrait has given up more than three runs just twice in eight starts. He has not allowed more than two runs in any of his last four go-rounds. He is 3-3 overall with a 119 ERA+. He has not faced any of the Orioles players.

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Posted in 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates, Away, Doug Mientkiewicz, Game Threads, Interleague, Jason Kendall, Jason Michaels, June, Tom Gorzelanny. Comments Off on Game #68: Bucs Blow Early Lead; .500 is Still a Dream
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