Cards Clobber Hart, Bucs Bullpen in a Laugher

The losing streak has reached 8 games. Kevin Hart was torched as the Pirates fell behind 5-0 early on. The offense put up a six spot in the fifth frame off of Adam Wainwright. The final three runs scored on a two run bloop triple from Brandon Moss that turned into a little league homer as an error from Skip Schumaker allowed Moss to score.

The lead didn’t last. Hart was pulled with two gone in the sixth and Denny Bautista allowed a three run homer to Albert Pujols. St. Louis tacked on six more runs over the next two innings to pull away easily.

Ryan Ludwick had a career night. He was 5-5 with two homers, two doubles and five runs driven in. Matt Holliday, whose BA is approaching .400 with the Cards, also homered.

Wainwright allowed six earned runs in five innings. Hart gave up five earned runs and seven overall in 5-2/3.

The Good

Well, there was some offense. Lastings Milledge batted clean up and continuest to rake – he had two more hits. Ryan Doumit had three singles.

The Bad

The pitching. Only Chris Bootcheck looked decent. Phil Dumatrait gave up four runs in 1/3 of an IP.

Eight straight losses with two more games against the Cardinals this weekend.

The Rest

Bautista came into the game unscored upon in 2009 over six innings and four outings.

This was just the second time this year that Wainwright allowed six runs or more. He held on enough and got enough support to get the win tonight.

Millege was hitting .396 over his last sixteen games before tonight.

The five RBI tied Ludwick’s career high, as did the two homers. Five hits and 13 total bases established single game marks for his career.

Hart’s ERA with the Wriglies was 2.60. With Pittsburgh it is on the ugly side of 6.00.

This was the 9th time in 2009 that opponents had reached double digits in runs against the Pirates. It was the 10th time that opponents had tallied 15 or more knocks. Those stats for 2008? 23 times giving up 10 or more runs and 20 times giving up 15 or more hits.

 

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Reds Sweep Pirates

Any way you look at it, this is getting uglier. The Reds swept the Pirates yesterday behind Homer Bailey and Brandon Phillips.

The Pirates, with help from long balls from Garret Jones and Brandon Moss, held a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. Drew Stubbs homered off of Zach Duke to tie it. Rookie and recent call up Neil Walker committed a throwing error, opening the flood gates. After Joey Votto doubled, Phillips drove in a run – his third of the game – with a ground out. Darnell McDonald singled with two outs for the final tally of the inning and the game.

After that, the Cincy bullpen shut the Pirates down, striking out six of the final eight hitters. Bailey struck out eight in 6-1/3. He allowed three runs on seven hits. Overall, the Pirates were struck out 14 times. Duke gave up 9 hits and three earned runs in six innings.

The Good

Jones continues to rake.

Duke had two hits and Ryan Doumit had a pair of doubles.

The Bad

Good grief. 25 games out. A seven game losing streak.

The Rest

Two of Homer Bailey’s five wins in 2009 have come against the Pirates, both after the fire sale.

Phillips is hitting over .400 and has 13 RBI against Pittsburgh this year.

Jones now has 18 HR and 34 RBI. The record for the fewest RBI in a season with at least 20 dingers is Chris Hoiles who drove in 40 runs with 20 taters in 1992. Kevin Maas hit 21 homers in 1990 and knocked in only 41.

This was Duke’s fifth career two hit game.

Walker has started his career 0-5

Reds Rip Bucs, Morton

Not much to say about this and not much time to say it. Red catcher Craig Tatum came into this series hitting .106 on the year. He had two hits and four RBI. Charlie Morton gave up nine hits, four walks and six runs in five innings. The bullpen wasn’t much better allowing the Reds to pull away with five runs combined in the sixth and seventh innings.

Garrett Jones hit a two run homer to highlight the Pirates offense.

Rookie Justin Leher garnered the win, tossing six innings of four run baseball. Each of the Reds starting 8 had a hit and either scored a run in knocked on in.

The Good

Jones had two hits.

Lastings Milledge continues to swing a hot bat with two more hits.

The Bad

Wow – losing three straight in Cincy.

The Rest

Milledge is hitting .391 in his last 14 games.

Coming into the game Morton was 1-4 in his last seven starts with a 6.43 ERA.

Bucs Drop Pair to Redlegs, Fall Deeper into the Cellar

It was an ugly day-night double header in Cincinnati. Making up a rained out game, the Pirates were beaten in front of a sparse crowd in the afternoon. They returned for the eveing game and were beaten again.

In the opener, the ML debut of Pirates starter Daniel McCutchen was pretty solid. He gave up four singles and a homer (to Drew Stubbs) in six innings, allowing three runs and whiffing five. He was matchd up against Kip Wells, who was also good – six innings and just two runs allowed. But, Jason Jaramillo singled in the 7th off of Carlos Fisher, tying the contest and causing neither starter to get a decision.

But Jesse Chavez allowed two singles and a fly ball to right that moved Darnell McDonald to third. Then Chavez uncorked a wild pitch allowing McDonald to score with the game ending run.

The second game started out rough. Paul Maholm was tagged for three runs in the first. The Reds used five hits and left the bases loaded while batting around. Past the first inning, other than a homer from Brandon Phillips in the third, Maholm was okay. Drew Stubbs added a homer in the night cap in the 8th off of Chavez.

Andrew McCutchen’s solo homer was the highlight of a three run sixth inning, but the Pirates could do little else against Johnny Cueto. He struck out five and allowed one run in 5+ innings. Nick Masset won the opener for Cincy.

The Good

Danny Bautista tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Maholm. He is unscored upon in 2009.

In addition to a good outing, Daniel McCutchen collected his first ML hit and his first ML RBI.

The Bad

Getting swept by a fifth place team.

Being in the cellar.

Being five losses away from securing yet another losing season. It is and has been a foregone conclusion.

The Rest

Last Bucco pitcher to get a hit in his ML debut was Maholm way back on 8/30/05.

You have to go way way back to 6-24-96 and Elmer Dessens to find the last Pirate pitcher to get a hit and an RBI in their first appearance in the Show.

Cueto now has four wins against the Pirates, his most against any team.

Maholm had not lost to Cincy since April 2007 when the Reds beat him twice.

This was the fourth time that Wells started against the Pirates and he was 3-1 in those outings coming into this afternoon’s game.

Bucs Struggles in Milwaukee Continue

It is hard to win when you don’t do anything particularly well. Kevin Hart started and took the loss after allowing five runs in six innings. Phil Dumatrait and Steven Jackson each allowed a run in their inning of relief.

The offense scored three runs, all of which came in the 5th inning. The Pirates briefly held a lead that the pitching staff and the defense couldn’t hold onto. Delwyn Young committed an error to start the bottom of the fifth and that lead off hitter – Felipe Lopez – eventually scored on a double play ground ball. A goofed double play helped Milwaukee score a pair in the third. With one out and runners on the corners, Steve Pearce fielded a ground ball and tossed to Brian Bixler covering second. Bixler fell coming across the bag and was unable to complete the twin killing. That allowed one run to score and three batters later, Hart walked Prince Fielder with the bases loaded to force in another run.

Andy LaRoche hit a two run homer for the highlight of the Pirates offense.

Yovani Gallardo started but was ineffective. He gave up three runs in five innings. He struck out seven. Claudio Vargas was the winner in relief.

The Good

Lastings Milledge had two hits.

The Bad

Offense. Defense. Pitching. Attitude? see below

Bixler struck out three times.

The Rest

Ryan Doumit did not play after being pulled from yesterday’s game for undisclosed reasons. Skipper John Russell declined to give details, but confirmed that Doumit is not injured. Attitude issues?

This was LaRoche’s third homer of the month – tops in 2009 for him.

Gallardo had split two decisions against Pittsburgh in 2009. This was his fourth start against the Pirates this year.

Hart beat the Beer Makers earlier in the month in Pittsburgh.

 

 

Bucs Can’t Overcome Duke’s Off Night

There haven’t been too many games like this for Zach Duke in 2009. Thank goodness. Duke gave up seven runs in three innings and Milwaukee held on for the win.

The Beer Maker scored five times in the first. Prince Fielder crushed a three run homer to start things off. Rookie Jason Bourgeois hit a solo homer in the second and Ryan Braun added a solo jack in the fourth off of Chris Bootcheck. Braun’s homer would be Milwaukee’s final hit of the night.

The Pirates comeback came up short. It was mostly the work of super-rook Andrew McCutchen. He hit a two run double in the second and a two run homer in the sixth. In between. Steve Pearce drove in two with a double. But that was all the Pirates could do.

The Bucs brought the tying run to the plate in the 8th and the 9th, but couldn’t manage a clutch hit.

Duke was the loser, allowing 11 hits and seven runs in three innings. Brewers starter Manny Parra was slightly better. He held on to work five innings and get the win. He gave up 10 hits and six runs. Trevor Hoffman struck out the side in the 9th for the save.

The Good

McCutchen – as always.

Lastings Milledge had two hits.

The bullpen looked good. That’s a nice change.

The Bad

Tough to get on Duke as he has been pretty solid all year, but this outing was awful.

The Rest

Milledge has two hits in five of his last 10 games and has brought his average up 40 points.

This was the second time that Cutch has knocked in four runs or more. Last time was August 1 when he hit three homers off of Washington.

Parra had allowed just three earned runs over 11-2/3 IP in his two previous starts against the Pirates.

Duke falls to 3-5 career against Milwaukee.

Fielder has double digit career HRs against every NL Central team.

Jones Beats Happ, Phils with 8th Inning Dinger

The Pirates took two of three from Philadelphia thanks to some late game heroics from Garret Jones. Trailing 2-1 in the 8th, the Pirates had been manhandled by Philadelphia rookie J.A. Happ. Pinch hitter Ronny Cedeno singled leading off, but Happ retired the next two hitters without incident. Jones followed with a two run homer to put the Pirates up 3-2. Matt Capps closed the victory.

Through the first seven innings, Happ had allowed just five hits. One of those was Andrew McCutchen’s solo homer in the first inning. Cutch’s drive tied the score at one each as Bucs starter Charlie Morton loaded the bases with none out in the first, but managed to escape with only one run allowed.

Morton yielded a solo homer to Paul Bako in the second and the score stayed that way until the 8th. Happ tossed a complete game in a losing effort and gave up all three Pirate runs. Morton went six and gave up both Phillie runs on five hits. He struck out six. Denny Bautista tossed two perfect innings and got the win in relief.

The Good

Taking two of three from the division leaders.

Happy with Morton’s outing.

Jones

The Bad

The team continues to struggle to draw walks, picking up just two.

The Rest

The Pirates have drawn the third fewest walks in the NL, leading only Houston and San Fran.

Jones has five homers in August after hitting 10 in July.

Happ beat the Pirates in his only other start against them on July 12.

Morton’s only other appearance against Philadelphia was a debacle. He lasted two innings in a loss while pitching for Atlanta 7/1/08.

Andy LaRoche hit cleanup for the 7th time in August. He is just 4-25 out of that spot with one XBH and two RBI.

The most impressive number of the day was the 85 that Ross Van Burkleo posted in the slop at the Oak Brook Park Marriott Resort golf course.