Game #95: Iannetta’s Broken Bat Homer Wins It

Coors Field | 9:05 | Maholm vs. Ubaldo Jimenez | Box
Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta stroked a two run broken bat homer that broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning as the Rockies came back after falling behind 3-0.
Ubaldo Jimenez struggled with his command. In the third, the Pirates plated all three of their runs with Jimenez a bit on the wild side. The inning featured just two Pirate hits. But one HBP, two walks and a wild pitch, plus Adam LaRoche’s two run double pushed three runs across. After that, the Rockies tightened the noose and the Pirates only had two more runners the rest of the game.
Colorado got two back in the fourth with Iannetta knocking in one run. In the sixth, Jeff Baker and Garrett Atkins hit consecutive doubles to tie the score. Then Iannetta hit the homer that put the Stones up for good.
Maholm gave up eight hits and all five runs. He struck out seven and walked none in six innings. Jimenez went seven and gave up five hits, three walks and whiffed four. Brian Fuentes struck out the side to end the game and earn the save.

Pre-Game Thoughts
The most important thing about Ubaldo Jimenez is that he leads all players with the first name Ubaldo in career wins. Actually, that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing would be that he leads the NL in walks allowed with 61 in 113 IP. The question is: will the Pirates hitters be patient enough to exploit his wildness?
Jimenez, despite the walks, has an ERA better than league average. He lost 9 times (against four Ws) in the first half of the season. Part of the problem with his W-L record is that the Stones have scored two or fewer runs in half of his starts. Not good at all unless this was 1968. Jimenez has just one career appearance – 8/20/07. In that contest he got a no decision. Adam LaRoche had two doubles of him.
The Pirates will go with their most consistent starter of the first half. Paul Maholm leads Pirate starters in:
Wins
IP
ERA
Strikeouts
K/9
K:BB
Not that he has been tearing up the competition, but imagine where the club would be without him. Pirate starters in the first half of the season logged the worst ERA among both leagues (5.64) and Pirate relievers finished 28th in ERA in the first half (4.63).
Maholm has not lost since May 20 and has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last eight outings. He is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA against Colorado in two career starts. His lone win was last year on August 23.
The Rockies are hitting .371 (13-35) against Maholm. Garret Atkins has been very tough (5-6) for Maholm to deal with.

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Posted in 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates, Adam LaRoche, Away, Game Threads, July, NL West, Paul Maholm. Comments Off on Game #95: Iannetta’s Broken Bat Homer Wins It
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