Pujols PH HR Delivers 81st Loss

Poor Ross Ohlendorf. Let’s hope he can pitch like this in 2010 and get more favorable results. With Tony LaRussa resting many of his regulars (Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday among others didn’t start), Ohlendorf struck out 11, walked one and allowed just one unearned run in eight innings. On the other side Mitchell Boggs was also tough againstt he punchless Pirates. The Bucs lone tally was an RBI double from Lastings Milledge that scored Garrett Jones.

The Pirates loaded the bases in the 9th but came up empty.

In the 10th, Albert Pujols clobbered a pitch from Matt Capps for a dinger – about a month after Capps hit him with a pitch and was tossed.Ryan Franklin put two runners on in the bottom of the 10th, but the Pirates failed to tie it up.

The Good

Ohlendorf pushed his ERA under 4.00.

Jones and Milledge combined for five of the Pirates six hits. Jones had three hits and walked twice.

The Bad

Gah – 81 losses.

The offense.

The Rest

Ohlendorf whiffed the side on 9 pitches in the seventh (Khalil Greene, Julio Lugo and Jason LaRue). He became the 40th pitcher ever and the second Pirate ever to do it. Jeff Robinson got Leon Durham, Andre Dawson and Rafael Palmeiro in the 8th inning back on 9/9/87 pitching in relief.

Jones reached base five times in one game for the first time in his career.

Ohlendorf’s 11 whiffs area high water mark for Pirate hurlers in 2009. He and Paul Maholm each tallied 8, in a start. No Pirate starter reached 11 whiffs since Ian Snell on 4/3/07 – his first start of the year. Last time someon got 12 strike outs was Kip Wells (winner for the Reds last night) on 7/5/05.

This was the longest career outing for Mitchell Boggs. His previous high in innings of work was six. This was also a career best in innings for Ohlendorf.

Give Pujols the MVP now.



Maholm Sharp as Bucs Win 4th Straight

Paul Maholm allowed just four singles, a triple and two runs in seven innings to beat KC. He put the Pirates in a hole early as Billy Butler had RBI singles in the first and third innings. But Delwyn Young popped a three run homer in the fourth and added an insurance RBI in the 8th to pace the offense.

Bruce Chen was the loser. He made his way back from Tommy John surgery to make his first appearance since April 20, 2007.

John Grabow and Jeff Karstens finished up with an inning each of shutout relief.

The Good

Young continues to be a productive bat.

Maholm has scuffled a bit lately (4-6 with a 5.22 ERA in his last 10 starts). It’d be great to get him going.

The Bad

Andrew McCutchen failed to reach base for the first time since June 10 and had his first ever streak of consecutive hitless games.

The Rest

Chen’s last start was 8/4/06. Chen’s last appearance against Pittsburgh was 6/8/05 when he was beaten by the pitching of Kip Wells and four RBI from Rob Mackowiak.

Young established a career best in RBI.

Game #90: Van Benschoten and Bullpen Walk Nine

PNC Park | 7:05 | Van Benschoten vs. Brian Moehler | Box
Just a day after the Pirates won despite walking 10 hitters, the Bucs lost after walking nine Astros batters. I’m dumbfounded by this. The Astros left 14 men on base, otherwise this could’ve been really ugly.
John Vanbenschoten was lucky to escape the first inning. He got two outs, but then went HBP, BB, HR, 1B, 1B, 1B 1B before he got Brian Moehler to end the inning. The Bucs trailed 4-0 after three outs were recorded. I’d say that JVB settled down after the first, but that would be a fib. The Astros left two on in the second and the third. They left a man on second with one out in the fourth and they put three runners on in the fifth inning before Sean Burnett came in. JVB needed 117 pitches to go 4-2/3 innings. On the bright side, in addition to the six walks he gave up, he struck out six hitters.
The Pirates managed to tie the game at four. As normal, Nate McLouth was in the middle of it. He hit three doubles and scored twice.
Houston broke through in the seventh to score twice, giving themselves a cushion they wouldn’t relinquish. Their inning was started by a bunt single from Michael Bourn. Last Pirate get a bunt single leading off an inning was Matt Alexander. Just kidding. Not sure who it was.
Jose Valverde tossed the 9th for the save. Moehler hung in long enough for the W. Burnett took the loss.
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