Votto’s Bat, Duke’s Arm Push Reds Over Bucs

Joey Votto stroked a two run double and hit a solo homer late in the game as the Reds took advantage of Zach Duke’s control issues to hand Pittsburgh their 98th loss of the year.

Duke went five innings and allowed five runs on six hits and five walks. He walked five hitters and two of them came around to score. Votto contributed a two run double in a three run fourth that put the Reds up 5-1.

The Pirates didn’t roll over. Delwyn Young hit a three run homer to put the score at 5-4. But Chris Bootcheck and newly recalled Anthony Clagett were each touched for tallies as the Reds pulled away.

Johnny Cueto was the winner. He allowed all four Pirate runs in six innings. He walked four and struck out six. With the the score at 7-4 and two men on, Nick Masset induced an inning ending grounder from Lastings Milledge. Francisco Cordero tossed a scoreless 9th for the win.

The Good

Young had three hits to go along with his three RBI.

LaRoche, still hitting number 2, had a double.

Andrew McCutchen stole his 20th base.

The Bad

Bad way to end an otherwise solid year for Duke.

Jason Jaramillo had a rough one. He whiffed three times, had a passed ball that allowed a run to score and hit into a double play.

The Rest

Cueto is now 6-2 in his career against Pittsburgh.

Welcome Anthony Clagett.

Brandon Moss walked three times – the first such game of his career.

Votto’s three RBI put him at 84 for the season, matching his 2008 total. His homer puts him in a tie for 10th all-time for homers hit by Canadian born players.

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Bucs Blow Late Leads Twice, Lose in 13

Matt Capps blew a save in the 9th and sent the game into extra innings. Phil Dumatrait did the same in the 13th and lost the game.

Pirates starter Zach Duke was on. He went 7-1/3 and allowed only four hits and two runs. He whiffed seven. He was in line for the win until Matt Kemp drove in Andre Ethier with two out in the 9th off of Capps.

The Pirates pushed one across in the 13th thanks to an error from Casey Blake and an RBI single from Ryan Doumit. But Phil Dumatrait, called on after gone and Rafael Furcal on first, gave up a two run homer to Ethier to end the game.

The Pirates scored three runs early as Steve Pearce homered and Duke had an RBI single in the second. Dodgers starter Randy Wolf allowed all three runs in seven innings on five hits.

Ethier’s dinger made a winner of former Pirate farmhand Ronald Belisario, who had given up the unearned tally in the 13th.

The Good

Pearce’s homer. We need to see what he can do over the final couple of weeks.

Duke’s effort was stellar.

The Bad

Blowing two leads.

Not getting any offense after the second

The Rest

That was Duke’s second 7 K performance in 2009. He has not struck out more than that since he was a rookie in 2005. Duke came into the game with an ERA over 7.00 against LA for his career.

Wolf is 7-1 in his career against Pittsburgh and had won his last four starts against the Pirates.

Ethier has 98 RBI and Kemp now has 92. The Dodgers haven’t had teammates with 100 RBI since 2001 when Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green did it.

Belisario has not allowed an earned run in his last 10 appearances, covering 9-2/3 IP. His ERA is below 2.00 on the season, his first in the majors.

 

 

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.

 

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.

Reds, Bailey Prevent Sweep

Homer Bailey allowed one run on four hits and four walks in seven innings of work. The Reds offense scored single runs in four different frames to beat Kevin Hart.

Brandon Phillips put a sandwich on the scoring with RBIs in the first and seventh innings. In between, the Reds got run scoring plays from Jonny Gomes and Joey Votto. Meanwhile, the Pirates left the bases loaded in the first and two men on in the second inning. The Pirates didn’t score until the fifth when Andrew McCutchen walked, stole second and scored on a single from Delwyn Young. That was the last time a Pirate batter would get so far as second base as Bailey got better as the game progressed and the Reds bullpen did the rest.

Hart gave up three runs on six hits in five innings. Joel Hanrahan loaded the bases and struck out the side in the 9th.

The Good

Young had two hits to go along with his RBI.

Chris Bootcheck tossed a perfect 8th inning to lower his ERA to less than 20.00.

The Bad

Getting beat by Homer Bailey, who for all the hype, has not pitched very well this year.

The Rest

This was Young’s 22nd multi-hit game of 2009.

This was Bailey’s first career appearance against the Pirates. His ERA coming into the game was 7.53.

Brandon Phillips has driven in 70 or more runs in four straight years. The last Reds second baseman to do that was Hall of Famer Joe Morgan from 1975 to 1978.

Cubs Clobber Pirates

This might be a new low. This was horrible. The matinee was broadcast on WGN and I was half tempted to hunker down and watch. I didn’t (guilty conscience prevents me from doing so) and am mightily glad I didn’t.

The Cubs jumped out early with a four run first off of Charlie Morton. The main damage was a three run homer from Kosuke Fukudome. Then Morton didn’t make it out of the second. Chicago sent 14 men to the plate in a 10 run outburst. Morton was pulled for Chris Bootcheck who was greeted very rudely. Morton (three outs and 10 earned runs) and Bootcheck (seven outs and seven runs scored) saw their ERAs take a big hit. Steven Jackson relieved Bootcheck after a bases loaded triple from Derrek Lee plated three runners with one out in the fourth. Jackson went the rest of the way and didn’t allow a run. Hard to say if the Cubs were even trying at that point as they had already built a 17-2 lead.

The beneficiary of all that support was rookie Randy Wells who allowed two runs in six carefree innings.

The Good

Jackson’s effort.

Garrett Jones had two hits.

The Bad

Good grief – 17 runs, 18 hits. Mark it down as one of those days.

The Rest

Lee drove in seven runs, matching a career high set earlier this season on July 2.

In addition to the win, Wells picked up his first multi-hit game in the Show.

Last time the Pirates gave up that many runs was back in 2000 – before PNC was even open. In that game, catcher Keith Osik allowed five 9th inning runs. Last time the Bucs were beaten by 15 runs or more was 4/5/03. That was Jeff D’Amico’s Pirates debut.

This was the 9th time in 2009 that Pirate pitchers allowed 15 or more hits. Pirate hitters have had 15 or more hits six time, doing it just once in the past two months.

Jimenez, Rockies Shutout Pirates

Ubaldo Jimenez allowed just three singles over eight innings to blank the Pirates. He struck out six and walked four on his way to his 10th win of the year. Franklin Morales mopped up in the 9th.

Kevin Hart was touched early. Carlos Gonzalez bashed a two run homer in the first inning. Hart was pulled with one out in the sixth after allowing three of the four hitters to reach bases via an XBH. He allowed five runs in 5-1/3. Chris Bootcheck relieved him and whiffed the next two guys to prevent any more damage.

The Good

Brandon Moss had two hits and a walk.

The Bad

Jeff Karstens allowed three runs in the 8th to make the final score 8-0.

The offense.

The Rest

This was the 14th time the Pirates have been shutout in 2009 and the 29th time they have scored one run or fewer.

Jimenez has allowed just one run in 14 innings of pitching against the Pirates in 2009.

Moss has just three multi-hit games since July 1. He is hitting .176 in that stretch (13-74).

Todd Helton’s 16 game hitting streak was snapped.