Reds Shutout Bucs to End 2009 Season

I was on hand to watch the 2009 season come to a close for my hometown club and my favorite club. Jeff Karstens vs. Homer Bailey at Great American on a mostly sunny mid-60s October afternoon. It was a great day for baseball.

But I was perturbed almost from the get-go. Luis Cruz and Jason Jaramillo were carrying on a conversation with one another during the National Anthem. That is not acceptable. Not at any time. If you don’t want to observe the singing/playing of the Star Spangled Banner, then stay in the clubhouse (like what Rudy Law used to do back in the 1980s). Don’t stand on the field and converse.

Brandon Phillips continued to bash Pirate pitching. He drove in the first three Cincinnati runs with a double off the wall, a grounder and another double off the wall. After Phillips third RBI, Scott Rolen tripled past a diving Andrew McCutchen to score two more runs.

Jeff Karstens got the loss by giving up two runs in 2-1/3 IP. But it was Donnie Veal who was hit the hardest – one inning, four hits and four runs allowed.

It was 2-0 after three and 6-0 after five innings. Homer Bailey as plugging away, leaving men on base in every inning but one of his six frames of toil. Especially troubling was the fifth. Steve Pearce tripled to lead off. Andrew McCutchen walked and stole second. Two one, none out, heart of the order coming up. But, Bailey whiffed Andy LaRoche, Garrett Jones and Lastings Milledge with no damage done.

The Good

Well, I hate to see the season end. But I guess I’m glad this one is over.

McCutchen had two hits, two walks and stole twice.

The weather.

The Bad

Veal’s outing put the game out of reach.

LaRoche left five men on base.

The Rest

The Reds honored the retiring Hal McCoy (Hall of Fame sportswriter from the Dayton Daily News) and George Grande, who does play by play for Fox Sports Ohio between innings. A great moment. Love Hal McCoy. George Grande has always been solid. Trivia buffs know that Grande was the first ever anchor of Sportscenter on ESPN.

Bailey won all four of his starts against the Pirates this year, accounting for half of his 8 wins.

Brandon Phillips drove in 21 runs against Pittsburgh in 2009.

Pirates were shut out for the 17th time in 2009. This was the first time they hit double digits in hits and failed to score.

 

 

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Doumit Powers Pirates to Sweep

The Pirates are on a bit of a mini-roll. Three of four from the Dodgers and now two of three from the Cubs with the final game of the series tomorrow.

Ryan Doumit collected four hits and drove in four runs to back Jeff Karstens and a host of relievers. Doumit hit a two run double that broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning. He later added an RBI single and a solo homer, missing by a triple of the cycle.

Karstens needed 61 pitches to go five innings. He allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out one and whiffed none. He benefited from a couple of double plays behind him. Four relievers combined on four shutout innings of two hit ball to close out the game.

Carlos Zambrano was left with the loss. He was looking for his 10th win, but didn’t find it in the early Fall Chicago evening. He struck out six but gave up six hits and four walks in six innings.

The Good

A sweep and the Bucs have taken five of six for the first time in over a month.

Doumit’s big game.

The Bad

Donnie Veal was wild, getting just one out and walking two. He was rescued when Steven Jackson got a double ply on a line drive from Jake Fox.

The Rest

This was Doumit’s third four RBI game and his first since April of 2009. This was his fifth career four hit game and his first in over a year.

Karstens picked up a win for the first time since 6/10/09.

This was the fourth time in September that Brandon Moss drove in two runs in one game. He had just four games with two RBI heading into September.

This was the 7th time in the last 11 games that Andrew McCutchen collected two or more hits.

Pirates need to go 2-2 to avoid 100 losses.

No Joke: Bucs Beat LA

I’ll take a win, no matter how unorthodox. Jeff Karstens, coming off the DL and having not thrown more than 60 pitches in a game since his last start in June, started and was on a quick hook. He pitched three mostly effective innings (one run and three hits), but was pulled after 48 pitches. In his place came Donnie Veal at the best of times. The Bucs were up and the starter hadn’t gone five. Thanks to two scoreless innings from Veal and shutout efforts from three others – including a perfect 9th from Matt Capps – Veal picked up his first career W.

The Pirates scored three unearned runs off Jon Garland. Blake DeWitt’s error in the first led to a sac fly from Garrett Jones. James Loney’s miscue in the third set up a two run, two out single from Brandon Moss.

Garland went six, gave up three unearned runs and whiffes six. He allowed six hits – five singles and a double.

The Good

A win.

Good pitching. Pirate starters walked none!

The Bad

Continued offensive woes.

The Rest

Last time the Pirates won a game in which the starter didn’t pitch five innings was 7-22-09 when Paul Maholm left after 4-2/3 in an 8-7 win over Milwaukee.

There are only four players in the Majors right now under the age of 30 with more than 100 career wins. Jon Garland is one of them. The others are Josh Beckett, C.C. Sabathia and Carlos Zambrano.

Moss has had three different two RBI games in September – his most of any month this year.

Last time the Pirates walked zero hitters in a game was August 22nd against Cincinnati.

Rajai Davis was in Sports Illustrated this week. Got me thinking – I hadn’t looked up his numbers in a while. So, how is the Rajai Davis Phenomenon doing? Let’s just say he is clearly having a better season than Moss is. Not really even close.

10 games left. Pirates need to go 6-4 to avoid 100 losses.

 

Padres Earn Series Win in Extras

It was a nice comeback and it was good to see some fight in the fellas. The Pirates scored three in the 8th and one in the 9th to send the game to extra innings. But Jeff Karstens was torched for five runs in the extra frame as San Diego took 3 of 4.

Daniel McCutchen (6 IP, 8 hits, three runs, zero whiffs) was on the hook for the loss. Until Luke Gregerson gave up three runs in the 8th and Heath Bell uncharacteristically blew a 9th inning save. That took away a win from rookie Wade LeBlanc (5 IP, 5 hits, one run, five strike outs).

It was a 3-2 game coming into the 8th. But Chase Headley (solo) and Nick Hundley (two run) hit homers off of Jesse Chavez to push the lead to four runs. But Andrew McCutchen’s two run double off of Gregerson keyed the 8th inning rally. The Pirates loaded the bases with no one out in the 9th off of Bell, but managed just the tying run.

Headley’s RBI double in the 11th opened the scoring in that frame and was his fifth hit of the game. That outburst made a winner of Sean Gallagher.

The Good

The comeback.

Garrett Jones hit his 20th homer.

The Bad

Karstens got hit hard.

Another loss.

Only getting one run off of Heath Bell in the 9th.

The Rest

That was the 9th time this year that Headley has had three or more hits. It was his first three double game in his career. Combined Andy LaRoche and Brandon Moss only have six games with three or more hits.

Phil Dumatrait tossed a scoreless inning of relief. He has been scored on in six of his 11 appearances.

Adrian Gonzalez drove in two runs to reach 92 RBI. He is trying to become the first Padre ever to knock in 100 runs in three straight seasons. Only one other Padre – Phil Nevin – recorded three different 100 RBI seasons.

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.

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.

Snakes Go Extra to Sweep

The Pirates bullpen faltered again. Leading 6-3 heading into the 7th, Jeff Karstens and Jesse Chavez were unable to preserve the win for Bucco newcomer Kevin Hart. Arizona tied it with a solo homer in the 8th from Trent Oeltjen, who was making his ML debut.

After that it stayed knotted 12th when Arizona pounded Steven Jackson for five runs. Alex Romero hit a game breaking two run double in the 12th.

The Pirates got to Max Scherzer with a four run sixth that drove him from the game. He gave up five runs in 5-1/3. He was long gone before it was decided. Hart wasn’t great, but he left with the lead. He allowed nine hits and three runs in six innings before giving way to Karstens.

The Pirates offense managed just three hits after the sixth inning. Ronny Cedeno drove in a pair of runs in the sixth.

Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless 11th for the win. Jackson dropped his second decision of the year.

The Good

It is early, but Cedeno has hit the ball.

The Bad

The bullpen has struggled recently.

The Rest

Oeltjen is a native of Australia and is the first Aussie born player to homer in his first ML game. He is now tied for sixth among all Australian players in career homers.

Jackson had not been scored on in his previous 10-1/3 innings of work.

In the 4th Andy LaRoche was nabbed trying to swipe home as Hart whiffed.