Minute Maid Park | 8:05 | Maholm vs. Jack Cassel | Box
First things first: I believe Eric Young used the “S” word a few moments ago on “Baseball Tonight”. He was describing the highlights of the Royals-Tigers game and referred to a hot hitter as “keeping his ‘excrement’ going”. Then he caught himself and said “Just keeping it going, keeping it going.” It is always fun to see a goof on live TV.
Anyway, it is also fun to see Paul Maholm throw a dominant eight innings. And that’s just what he did. He allowed one run, five hits – all singles – and one walk. He struck out five.
The Pirates offense got going early picket fence style. The Pirates put up single runs in each of the first three frames. Freddy Sanchez and Nate McLouth each hit solo homers. Ryan Doumit added a three run blast late in the game to seal it. Second straight time the Pirates hit three homers in a game.
Jack Cassel didn’t make it out of the fifth. He was charged with five runs in 4-2/3. Maholm threw just 108 pitches
Sanchez had three hits and homers in consecutive games against the same opponent for the first time in his career. Jason Bay and Ryan Doumit each had a pair of hits.
This will be Jack Cassel’s 11th ML appearance and his 7th start. He is 2-1 with a 4.86 ERA in his career. In 2008 he is 1-0 with a 6.28 ERA. This will be his third start of 2008, but his first since April 29.
His lone win in 2007 (and his first in the Show) came against – who else – the Pirates on September 17th. The Pirates are 4-17 against Cassel. Xavier Nady is 2-3.
Paul Maholm goes for the Pirates. He will be looking to avenge his first loss since May 20th, which was suffered in his last start. Prior to his last outing, Maholm’s ERA had dipped below 4.00 for the first time all year. It is now at 4.10.
Maholm beat the Astros in his lone 2008 appearance against them. That was June 5. Despite a 5.55 career ERA, Maholm is 4-3 against the ‘Stros. This will be his 9th appearance – all starts – against Houston.
The Astros are collectively just 21-93 against Maholm. Big boppers Carlos Lee (3-21) and Lance Berkman (2-14) are struggling against him. Mark Loretta is 4-9. No Astro has a tater off of Maholm.