Revamped Bucs Beat Equally Downtrodden Nats

In a match up of two of the three worst teams in the NL, the Pirates and Ross Ohlendorf prevailed.Ohlendorf allowed just two runs on six hits in 6-1/3 innings of toil.

Lastings Milledge, making his Pirates debut, singled twice and drove in two runs. Steve Pearce connected for his first homer this season. Andrew McCutchen had two hits and scored twice.

John Lannan gave up all five runs in seven innings on nine hits. Matt Capps put two runners on in the 9th before closing out the game.

Three players were playing against the former clubs. Nyjer Morgan was 0-4 with a walk, a run scored, was picked off and made the last out with the tying run on base. Joel Hanrahan gave up two runs in 2-3 IP. Milledge was clearly the top performer.

The Good

Snapped a four game losing streak.

Ohlendorf has matched Zach Duke for the team lead in wins.

The Bad

The bullpen gave up two runs in 2-2/3 IP and Capps almost blew it in the 9th.

The Rest

After hitting .284 in June, McCutchen finished July hitting .277 for the month.

Results of players making their Pirates debut in 2009

Lastings Milledge – 2-3 with two RBI (July 31)

Jason Jaramillo – 1-3 (April 16)

Delwyn Young – 0-1 (April 17 as a PH)

Ramon Vazquez – 1-2 (April 6)

Eric Hinske – 1-1 (April 6)

Garrett Jones – 0-4 (July 1)

Craig Monroe – 0-1 (April 7)

Jeff Salazar – 0-1 (July 2)

That’s 8 new hitters through July. In 2008, there were 10 players who made their hitting debut for the Pirates. I’m certain that the 2009 club will catch up.



Giants Sweep Series, Shutout Pirates, Trade for Sanchez

The Giants won, allowed no runs and then traded for Freddy Sanchez. It was a whirlwind. The only thing good that can come of it is if Tim Alderson, the AA pitcher the Pirates got in the one-for-one swap turns out to be a dandy.

Matt Cain tossed nine scoreless innings. But the Giants were unable to push a run across against his All-Star replacement, Zach Duke. Cain allowed three singles and two walks. Duke went seven and gave up six singles while walking just one.

In the 9th, Eugenio Velez singled and later scored on a single from Randy Winn. That came off of Matt Capps and made a winner of Brian Wilson, who tossed a scoreless 10th inning.

Having traded Jack Wilson and Ian Snell earlier in the day, the Pirates return to Pittsburgh looking like a much different ball club than when they left.

The Good

I like the 2009 version of Zach Duke.

The Bad

I can’t stop talking about the offense.

The Rest

Farewell, Jack and Freddy. Their jerseys and jersey t-shirts are sure to be discounted when I’m in Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks to see a couple of games.

Cain came into the game with a 4.65 career ERA against Pittsburgh. That represented the worst career ERA for him versus any opponent against whom he had thrown at least 30 innings.


Bucs Losing Streak Reaches Four

The Pirates offense continued to struggle as Barry Zito was knocked around for nine hits in 5-2/3 innings, but continually pitched out of trouble as he allowed just one run. With two on and no one out in the sixth, Zito got Luis Cruz and Charlie Morton out. With Andrew McCutchen due up, he was pulled for Sergio Romo. McCutchen, who had doubled and scored in the first, whiffed to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Morton surrendered an RBI double to Eugenio Velez, who had knotted the score earlier in the contest with a solo dinger.

Jesse Chavez yielded and RBI to Pablo Sandoval in the 7th. The Pirates scored off Jeremy Affeldt in the 8th on a sac fly from Cruz. But Brian Wilson closed out the game in the 9th for the save.

Romo was the winner, going 1/3 of an inning. Morton was the loser despite allowing just two earned runs in six innings.

The Good

Bucs collected 10 hits after getting just nine in the previous two games

I’ll take that outing from Morton all season long.

Ryan Doumit stayed hot with two more hits.

The Bad

4th straight loss.

Bucs have scored just four runs in those four losses.

The Rest

This was the 12th time this year the Pirates managed 10 hits in a losing effort.

Velez came into the game just 3-18 in his career against the Pirates.

Despite a career 3.63 ERA, Zito was 0-3 in three career starts against Pittsburgh before tonight.

Newly acquired Ryan Garko was 0-4 in his San Fran debut.

Steve Pearce was the only Pirate non-pitcher without a hit.

Bucs Actually Score, But Giants Win

Tim Lincecum tossed a complete game, striking out 15 and allowing just four hits and two unearned runs. The Giants got to Paul Maholm early scoring four times in the first two frames with the big blow being a two run triple by Andres Torres in the second.

Maholm allowed eight hits and four runs in six innings. He gave up just two hits over the final four frames.

The Pirates had nothing going until an error from Edgar Renteria to start the sixth opened some rather small floodgates. Unfortunately, both runs scored on out-making plays – a ground out from Garrett Jones and a sac flly from Ryan Doumit.

The Good

Pirates broke their scoreless streak.

The Bad

The losing streak continues.

The Rest

This was Lincecum’s first career win against Pittsburgh and is his best strikeout performance of 2009.

Coming into the game Maholm was 1-0 with a 2.31 career ERA against San Francisco in five starts. He received a no decision on 7/17 after throwing 8 innings and allowing just one run.

Jones came into the game with 11 hits in his last 21 at bats before going hitless.

Doumit has at least one hit in 10 of his last 11 games, pulling his average up from .206 (on 7/17) to .248.

Torres came into 2009 having played in just 11 ML games since 2003 and none since 2005. Since that time he’d played in the minors with Minnesota, Detroit and the Cubs.



Bucs Shut Out Again

Don’t even know what to write. Max Scherzer tossed seven shutout innings for his first win in a month. He struck out eight. He allowed just five singles. Gerardo Parra drove in four runs and Mark Reynolds hit a two run homer to pace the Arizona attack. The Diamondbacks scored four runs off of Virgil Vasquez and he lasted just three innings.

The Good


The Bad

The offense. Broken record.

The Rest

This was Scherzer first career start against Pittsburgh and the third time in 2009 he struck out 8 or more.

This was the second time this season the Pirates were blanked on consecutive days.



Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Before: Bucs Shutout

Apologies to Morrissey and the Smiths.

Doug Davis and three relievers combined on an eight hit shutout. Davis went six and allowed five hits and three walks while striking out eight. Justin Upton’s fourth inning two run dinger off Ross Ohlendorf was all that Arizona needed as the Pirates stranded 10 and had Brandon Moss gunned down at home.

Ohlendorf was hurt by the XBH. He went six and gave up just six hits, but five of them were for more than one base. He struck out two.

The Good

I’ll take that from Ohlendorf

Garrett Jones had two hits

The Bad

Bucs committed two errors

10th shutout of the season

The Rest

Bucs were shutout 13 times in 2007.

Davis tied his season high with those 8 Ks. This was Davis’ first win against Pittsburgh since 8/9/07.

Upton homered twice in the series after not having homered since 8/7/07 in his first game against Pittsburgh.


Jones, Duke Push Bucs Past Snakes

The Pirates offense had a some big innings and Zach Duke pitched well enough to earn his 9th win. Garrett Jones (who else) broke a 2-2 tie with a two run homer in the 5th that was part of a four run rally. The Bucs added four more in the 8th.

Duke went 6-1/3 and allowed single runs in the 2nd, 3rd and 6th. He was helped by the defense. In the second Stephen Drew was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple. Ryan Roberts followed with what was then a solo homer. Justin Upton made the third out in the fifth trying to sneak into second on a shallow hit to right that pushed a runner from first to third base. Overall Duke gave up 10 hits and one walk, while striking out four. Joel Hanrahan and Jesse Chavez finished up.

Yusmeiro Petit He was chased in that four run fifth after getting one out. He was charged with six earned runs.

The Good

Jones – keep swing for the fences!

No complaints about Duke

Everyone contributed – each of the starting 8 had a hit to go along with a run scored or an RBI.

Delwyn Young started at 2B and had three singles. A sign of things to come?

The Bad

I have nothing on this one.

The Rest

The Pirates had not hit double figures in runs since June 24 against Cleveland. They had not tallied more than 14 hits since June 13 against Detroit.

Going back to last year, Petit has dropped his last seven decisions.

Brandon Moss had two hits for the first time in July.

Andy LaRoche came into the game hitting .261, his low water mark since 5/18. He also had two hits.