Ohlendorf Frustrates Cubs on Momentous Day

So why was this a momentous day? Two reasons:

1. The 100th anniversary of the opening of Forbes Field

2. For the second straight year the Pirates have traded away 2/3 of their starting outfield.

Ross Ohlendorf picked up his 7th win by tossing seven shutout innings to overshadow (at least temporarily) all of that. He allowed three singles, a double and no walks while striking out eight.

Freddy Sanchez played the role of a man picking up the empty pieces of an offense. He had a part in all three Pirate runs, driving in a pair and scoring the third. He also stole a base.

The Cubs didn’t threaten until they put two on with none gone against John Grabow in the 8th. But Grabow held on, whiffing Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome before getting Derrek Lee to ground out. Matt Capps pitched the 9th for the save.

The Good

A winning June. First one since 1996. Unbelievable.

Nice job by Ohlendorf. Second on the staff in wins.

Need more of that from Sanchez.

I have to say I’m happy thus far on the return for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett. Lastings Milledge seems to have been around for a while, but he just turned 24. The only member of the club younger than him is Andrew McCutchen.

Ted Lilly gave up all three runs to the Pirates. The first of which scored when Freddy Sanchez scored from second on a strike three when Geovany Soto’s throw to Lilly covering home went through the pitcher’s wickets.

The Bad

McCutchen is just 1-18. His first struggle at this level. Hopefully he works out of it soon.

Delwyn Young has two hits in his last 18 at bats.

The Rest

Ohlendorf established a single game mark for whiffs.

Welcome Garrett Jones who was brought up from Indy before the game. He didn’t appear tonight. He spent the better part of the last four years in AAA averaging better than 20 homers a year.

Lilly was 3-0 in his career against the Pirates coming in.

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Late Dingers by Stones Turn the Tide

The Pirates held a nice 7-4 margin and needed just six outs. They got four outs, but allowed five runs in the process to lose the game.

Andrew McCutchen’s bases loaded triple in the seventh gave the Pirates a 5-4 lead. Nyjer Morgan followed with a single to make it 6-4 and Brandon Moss drove in a run in the 8th for the Pirates final tally.

But Colorado and Jim Tracy rallied. Chris Iannetta drilled a two out three run homer off of John Grabow in the 8th inning to tie it. Huston Street put two Pirates on in the 9th but emerged without a blemish. Then Jesse Chavez gave up a two run one out tater to Todd Helton in the 9th. Ball game.

Charlie Morton gave up two runs on five hits in five innings. Jason Hammel, who had won his last three starts, gave up five runs in six plus. Ian Stewart was the early hitting star for the Rockies. He drove in three runs with a double, triple and dinger.

The Good

Apparently angered by the comment made by Norris in yesterday’s summary, Nyjer Morgan had four hits and made a ridiculous catch of a foul ball.

Brandon Moss had three hits, including two doubles.

The Bad

The bullpen. Including Sean Burnett who relieved Morton, the Pirates bullpen gave up 7 runs in 3-1/3.

The Rest

Morgan’s only other four hit game came 9-23-08 in Milwaukee.

McCutchen already has four triples. The last Pirate rookie to record more was Jose Guillen with five in 1997. Last Pirate rookie with more than five were Gene Freese (8) and Roberto Clemente (11) both in 1955.

The Rockies are 17-5 under Jim Tracy. Last time the Pirates won 17 games in 22 contests? I have no idea and I’m too depressed to look.

Bucs Drop Another to Atlanta as Bullpen Blows One

Atlanta scored twice in the 7th when Yunel Escobar hit a bases loaded single. Those two tallied put the Braves up 4-3 and that’s how it stayed.

Ross Ohlendorf pitched into the 7th, but was relieved by Sean Burnett after giving up a leadoff single. Two bunts (one for a single and one for a sacrifice) and one IBB later, Burnett was lifted for Jesse Chavez. Escobar delivered his knock before Chipper Jones hit into an inning ending DP.

Ohlendorf was charged with three earned runs over six innings. He gave up eight singles and no walks. Burnett was the loser. Derek Lowe completed seven innings and gave up three runs to get the win. Former Bucco Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano tossed a hitless inning of relief to end the game.

The Good

No gripes about Ohlendorf’s start. Good control. No XBH.

Delwyn Young had two hits starting at 2B.

The Bad

Tough to blow one late. Burnett had only been scored upon twice in his previous ten outings.

The Rest

Escobar could be an All-Star candidate if not for Miguel Tejada and Hanley Ramirez being in the same league.

Delwyn Young has six multi-hit games among his 11 starts. 

Lowe has at least one loss to every team he has faced. Except the Pirates. Against the Bucs he is now 7-0 in his career. He has 133 career wins, good enough to crack the Top 20 among active players.

Hampton Sends Bucs Back to Earth

The one game euphoria I had after Andrew McCutchen’s successful ML debut has been driven from my mind.

Mike Hampton and Jeff Fulchino combined to limit the Pirates to six singles and one run. Hampton went seven, allowing five hits, the lone run and no walks. He whiffed five.

The Astros went to work against Jeff Karstens and then Evan Meek in the sixth inning to bust open a two run game. Houston scored seven times in that six frame courtesy of four hits and four walks from the Pirate hurlers. Carlos Lee’s grand slam was the highlight (lowlight) of the inning.

The Good

Delwyn Young had two hits.

Sean Burnett and Jesse Chavez each tossed an inning of scoreless relief.

The Bad

This was probably Karstens’ worst outing of the year. He went 5-2/3 and allowed six of the nine Houston tallies.

The Rest

You have to go back to 4-21-07 to find a game in which Karstens allowed six or more earned runs.

Delwyn Young has multiple hits in five of the 11 games he has started. He is also 6-15 as a pinch hitter.

Former Pirate Matt Kata hit into a double play as a pinch hitter for Houston. It was just his third MLB AB since 2007.

That was the 14th career Salami from Lee. He is tied for sixth among active players in career grand slams.

Z’s Fireworks, Johnson’s Tater Push Cubs Past Bucs

I love Carlos Zambrano. I enjoy watching people who are passionate about their work. Unfortunately, that passion went a bit overboard in the 7th. With Nyjer Morgan on courtesy of a single and a two base error, Z uncorked a pitch in the dirt. Morgan broke for home. Close play and…. Safe. Off went Carlos Zambrano. He was ejected after making contact with home plate umpire Mark Carlson. His fit continued in a ball tossing, glove tossing incident. Chances are he will miss a start due to a suspension.

However, if anything, Z’s tantrum might’ve sparked the Cubs. With the game knotted up at two, Reed Johnson hit a solo homer in the bottom of the 8th and the Cubs pushed two more across against Jesse Chavez and Sean Burnett to win the game.

Zach Duke gave up two first inning runs, but settled in after that. He went seven and gave up eight hits and two walks. Carlos Marmol was the winner in relief of Zambrano

The Good

Duke continues to pitch effectively. Wish that’d been the case over the past couple of seasons.

Ramon Vazquez had three hits while starting at SS.

 

The Bad

Feast or famine for the offense. Just two runs and one RBI on eight singles.

The Rest

Chavez is now 0-3 for his career.

This was Vazquez’ first three hit game since he had four hits on 7/29/09.

Ryan Theriot had three hits today, giving him seven hits for the series, just like Freddy Sanchez, who got the day off.

Posted in 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates, Away, Chicago Cubs, Game Threads, Interleague, Jesse Chavez, May, Nyjer Morgan, Sean Burnett, Zach Duke. Tags: , , , , . Comments Off on Z’s Fireworks, Johnson’s Tater Push Cubs Past Bucs

Sanchez’ 6 Hits Paces Offensive Outburst

Freddy Sanchez had six hits in six trips to the plate, knocked in three and scored four times to pace a season high 18 hit attack. Andy LaRoche and Jason Jaramillo each had three hits. Andy LaRoche drove in two runs and Nate McLouth contributed the go ahead RBI with a two run homer off of losing pitcher Neal Cotts.

Neither starter was around long as both Paul Maholm (4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER) and Ryan Dempster (4 IP, 7 H, 6 ER) were used as BP pitchers.

It was a see-saw event as there were seven ties or lead changes. Tom Gorzelanny pitched two innings to get the win. He was followed by five pitchers. Matt Capps was hit in the elbow by a line drive in the 9th inning and was pulled from the game. The P-G reports that there is no “structural damage” to his elbow. Sean Burnett relieved to seal the game.

The Good

Season high 18 hits.

Jesse Chavez is unscored upon in his last seven outings, covering seven innings.

The Bad

I don’t think it has ever been good to have a pitcher get hit in the elbow by a liner.

Maholm is allowed to have an outing like this every once in a while. But it wasn’t pretty.

The Rest

This is the second time in 2009 that Maholm has allowed six or more earned runs in a start. He did it twice in all of 2008.

This is the second time in 2009 that one player had a five hit a game and another had six hits on the same day. Today it was Sanchez and Alex Rodriguez. On 4/15/09 it was teammates Ian Kinsler (six knocks) and Marlon Byrd.

This was the 52nd time in the Retrosheet era that someone collected six or more knocks in one game. There have been 144 different instances of a player hitting for the cycle in the same time frame.

This was Jaramillo’s first three hit game of his career.

Bucs Come Through in Extras After Bullpen Blows it

Hey, it is four straight wins. So, not much to complain about. But, here goes…

With Matt Capps unavailable due to much recent use (as reported by Dejan Kovacevic in his pre-game notes), Sean Burnett was called on to protect a one run lead in the 9th. It didn’t happen. Burnett stranded a runner at third in the 8th and then allowed a one run triple to Nick Johnson in the 9th. Johnson would score on a wild pitch two batters later. Tie game. On we go.

The Bucs offense made quick work of Joe Beimel in extras. Adam LaRoche delivered a two run double with two gone to put the Pirates up. Tom Gorzelanny, who had releived Burnett to get the last out in the 9th, worked a scoreless 10th to get the win.

The Good

Gorzo’s first win since…6/24/08

Brandon Moss had his second three RBI game of his career. He drove in the final run with a single and had a two run double that capped a three run first.

Andy LaRoche belted a two run homer in the third that pushed the Pirates lead to 5-0.

The Bad

Starter Jeff Karstens gave up three consecutive run scoring hits with two gone in the sixth to allow the Nats to get within 5-4. He was then pulled in favor of Evan Meek in the 7th. Meek walked three but got out of the inning with help from a DP.

This was Burnett’s first career blown save and would’ve been his first career save.

The Rest

This was the second time the brothers LaRoche had multiple RBIs in the same game. The first time was 9-17-08.

National’s starter Shairon Martis is the first pitcher in the Show to hail from Curacao. The Pirates have strong ties to that island as former Bucs Yurendell DeCaster and Randall Simon and former Bucco minor league hitting instructor Hensley Muelens hail from there.

Along with Beimel, former Pirate pitcher Ron Villone also appeared for Washington. He is unscored upon in 2009. Washington represents his 12th ML team. Back in 2002 he was Pittsburgh’s Opening Day starter.

This is the second straight game that two former Pirate hurlers appeared agains their old team. Both Beimel and Kip Wells chucked it yesterday for Washington. The Reds (with Bronson Arroyo, Mike Lincoln and Arthur Rhodes – who never actually appeared in uni with the Bucs) could also pull the same trick in 2009.