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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Dempster Shuts Down Buccos

Ryan Dempster tossed a complete game shutout. That’s all you really need to know. Beyond that, the details are that the Pirates defense – a low toss from Garrett Jones to Kevin Hart covering first and a miscue from Delwyn Young – allowed three unearned runs to score.

Dempster allowed five hits, walked two and whiffed five. Hart went four and gave up six runs (three were earned as previously noted). He gave up six hits and hurt himself with four walks.

Derrek Lee, Micah Hoffpauir and Jeff Baker drove in two runs each for Chicago.

The Good

The bullpen went five scoreless innings.

Andy LaRoche had a pair of doubles.

The Bad

The lack of offense is staggering.

The Rest

Dempster’s last shutout came in 2001.

The Pirates have been shutout 16 times in 2009. That’s four more than the next closest. Last time the Pirates were shutout with more frequency was 1985 when they were blanked 19 times.

Probably a toss up between Torii Hunter and Derrek Lee as to who the second best player was from the 1993 draft. The best was of course A-Rod.

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.

 

 

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.

’79 Champs Witness Bucs Rise to 5th Place

I was supposed to be in the audience tonight. But a business trip looms tomorrow. Thusly, I witnessed the game courtesy of Fox Sports Ohio. 22 members of the 1979 World Series champs were honored before the game and they got to watch Zach Duke, Ryan Doumit and Garrett Jones pitch and pound the Reds into submission. And into the cellar.

The Pirates took over 5th place with their fifth straight win. Duke allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks in seven innings. The Pirates got on Justin Lehr in the first inning with three runs. Doumit was in the middle of it. With the Pirates already up 1-0, one gone in the first and Jones on third, Doumit hit a high bouncer back to Lehr. The Reds hurler wanted to get two and end the inning, but Doumit hustled down the line and was credited with a fielder’s choice RBI. He then swiped second based and scored on a single from Lastings Milledge.

Doumit hit a two run homer high into the seats in right in the fifth to make it 6-1. Jones added a two run double in next frame and the route was on. The Pirates added four more in the 7th. Steve Pearce had a two run single. Had it not been for an acrobatic stop by Brandon Phillips off the bat of Delwyn Young that Phillips helped turn into a double play, it could’ve been worse.

Lehr allowed six runs on 8 hits in five innings.

The Good

Five straight wins.

Fifth place.

Doumit had three hits, scored three times and drove in three.

Jones also had three hits and three runs knocked home.

Duke picks up win #10.

The Bad

Nothing at all, other than me not being in the Steel City tonight.

The Rest

The 19 players from the 1979 team on hand were:

Matt Alexander, Dale Berra, Bert Blyleven, John Candelaria, Mike Easler, Phil Garner, Grant Jackson, Bruce Kison, Lee Lacy, Bill Madlock, Omar Moreno, Steve Nicosia, Ed Ott, Dave Parker, Don Robinson, Jim Rooker, Manny Sanguillen, Rennie Stennett and Kent Tekulve. Chuck Tanner and coach Al Monchak were there along with trainer Tony Bartirome. Willie Stargell’s wife was also there.

Among the deceased in addition to Stargell are Bill Robinson, John Milner, Dave Roberts and Dock Ellis (not on post-season roster). Living players who did not come back were Jim Bibby, Doe Boyland (not on post-season roster), Joe Coleman (not on post-season roster), Tim Foli, Gary Hargis (not on post-season roster), Alberto Lois (not on post-season roster), Rick Rhoden (disabled most of the season), Enrique Romo, Frank Taveras (traded early on for Foli), Ed Whitson (traded for Madlock in June)

This was Doumit’s fifth career game with three runs scored. It was the third time he reached three RBI and three runs scored in one contest.

Jones has six RBI in the last two games.

Duke reached double figures in wins for the second time in his career.

Each of the starting 8 had a hit and scored a run.

Last five game winning streak was May 15 to 20th against Colorado and Washington. Each of the starters were the winning pitcher during the current winning streak.The bullpen picked up three wins during the earlier winning streak.

Luis Cruz got his third start of the year in place of Ronny Cedeno who has a fractured finger.

Welcome back Phil Dumatrait who pitched a scoreless inning, his first game since July 7, 2008.

 

Jones’ Blast, Morton’s Effort Push Bucs to 4th Straight W

The Pirates offense was loudly efficient tonight. The team totaled just five hits. But three of them went for extra bases. Trailing 1-0 with two out in the third, Garrett Jones drilled a three run homer high into the seats in left. In the fourth, Lastings Milledge crushed a solo homer. In the next inning, Andrew McCutchen tripled into the notch and scored on a sac fly from Delwyn Young. And the Pirates were hitless the rest of the way.

Those five runs were all Charlie Morton needed. He allowed two runs in 6-1/3 inning to get the win. Matt Capps brought the tying run to the plate with a single and an error, but escaped without a blemish.

Micah Owings gave up all five Bucco hits and all five runs. He was pulled for a pinch hitter after five innings. Keeping up his strong offensive showings, he singled and scored the Reds first run.

The Good

Four straight wins

Morton’s effort

Jones keeps bashing

1/2 game out of fifth

The Bad

Ronny Cedeno’s error in the 9th caused a few moments of tension

The Rest

Bucs have their first four game winning streak since June 24-27 during interleague play against Cleveland and KC. Not exactly the Yanks and Red Sox.

This was Jones first ever three RBI game. He has the team lead in HR.

Morton won for the first time since July 18.

Owings came into the game with six hits in 12 ABs against the Pirates. His record against the Pirates fell to 1-3.

Bucs 3B have six homers and 43 RBI. Bucs SS have eight homers and 55 RBI. Bottom line: Andy LaRoche has yet to impress. In 2007 Jack Wilson and the Pirates SS outhit Jose Bautista and the Pirates 3B (one more homer and the same number of RBI). Bottom line, Andy LaRoche has been not done a good enough job with the lumber.

Pirates are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1979 World Series and each club wore throw back uniforms.

Maholm Pitches Bucs to a Sweep

Paul Maholm evened his record at 7-7 by tossing 7-2/3 innings of one run ball. He gave up seven singles, a double and two walks. Maholm whiffed five Brewers. The defense turned four double plays behind him to help squelch the Milwaukee offense.

The Pirates got their offense on the board quickly and then the bats went silent. Suddenly potent Ronny Cedeno hit a two run dinger off Manny Parra in the second. Delwyn Young added and RBI single the following inning. The Pirates would collect just two more hits after the third inning.

Parra was charged with all three runs in six innings on four hits. He struck out six. Matt Capps tossed a perfect 9th for the save.

The Good

Sweep

Cedeno is hot like Shawon Dunston back in 1997.

The Bad

Nothing

The Rest

With Maholm sitting on 7 wins, Zach Duke at 9 and Ross Ohlendorf already in double figures, the Pirates have a chance to have three pitchers with 10 or more wins for the first time since 2003 when Kip Wells, Josh Fogg and Jeff Suppan all won 10 on the nose.

Young has eight hits in his last 16 at bats. He has 11 RBI in August, his best monthly total of 2009.

Maholm came into the game just 2-5 in thirteen career starts against the Beer Makers. He hit his second career double and just his third career extra base hit.

Parra entered the game having allowed just three earned runs in 11-2/3 in three career starts against Pittsburgh, both of which were in PNC.