Gorzelanny Haunts Pirate Hitters

Tom Gorzelanny allowed just one run in five solid innings as Chicago took advantage of the Pirates poor offense to beat tough luck starter Zach Duke.Gorzy whiffed 8 and allowed just three singles in five innings.

Duke was good, as usual. He allowed three runs in 7-1/3 on nine hits. He struck out three and walked just one. Jeff Baker did most of the damage with a first inning RBI single and a solo tater leading off the 7th.

The Good

Steve Pearce had two of the Pirates five hits. He also stole a base.

Duke.

The Bad

The offense.

The losing.

The Rest

This club will have to go 17-29 the rest of the way to avoid 100 losses. If I was to place a bet, my money would be on triple digit ‘L’s.

Gorzy had reached 8 whiffs in just two other games in his career. Most recently was 6-29-08 against Tampa. Quite obviously, he had never faced the Pirates before.

Pearce’s stolen base was his first since 9/23/09.

Duke is 1-6 in his last nine starts. The Pirates have scored more than three runs in just one of those.

 

 

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Ohlendorf Gets To Double Digits as Bucs Snap L Streak

Ross Ohlendorf allowed three runs in six plus innings to pick up his 10th win of the season, becoming the first Pirate to hit double digits in wins. He yielded solo homers to Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez among the four hits he allowed.

The Pirates were aided by the wildness of Rockies rookie starter Jhouyls Chacin. He lasted just 2-2/3 innings as he allowed just one hit, but gave up six walks. That lone hit was an RBI double from Ryan Doumit in the second that scored Andrew McCutchen. That run was negated with Tulowitzki’s dinger in the home half of the second. But Chacin’s wildness got the best of him and knocked him from the game in the third. Chacin walked McCutchen and Garrett Jones. On an attempted double steal, Chris Iannetta’s poor throw allowed Cutch to score and Jones to take third. After a two out walk to Steve Pearce, Chacin was yanked in favor of ex-Pirate Josh Fogg. Delwyn Young delivered a two run triple and Ronny Cedeno singled him in as the Pirates scored four times in the frame.

Fogg pitched 4-1/3 and gave up two runs. 

The Good

Have to be happy with Ohlendorf’s season.

McCutchen scored three times, doubled, walked three times and stole three bases.

Jones doubled twice and walked.

Nine walks as a club.

Each of the starting 8 had a knock.

The Bad

I got nothin’.

The Rest

Ohlendorf is the first Pirate pitcher to hit double digits since Tom Gorzelanny and Paul Maholm in 2007. Gorzy won his 10th game on 8/10/07. Maholm did it on 8/23/07.

The nine walks were the second most for the club this season (11 on 6/14 against Detroit). The pitching staff has yielded nine or more walks twice.

After 112 games, the team is 46-66. At the same juncture last year, the mark was 51-61.

Both Fogg and another former Bucco, Joe Beimel, pitched in relief.

This was the third time McCutchen has scored three runs or more in a game in 2009.

The last Pirate to steal three bases in one game was Matt Lawton on 7/26/05.

Thoughts on the Grabow/Gorzelanny trade

I was disappointed when I heard the details of this trade. I still have hope for Tom Gorzelanny‘s future, and I think the Pirates sold low on him. I guess it is possible that his arm is still toast from Jim Tracy‘s days as skipper, but his numbers have been solid in Triple-A this year. I see him as a good back-of-the-rotation starter down the road. Thus, when I learned that he was involved in the trade, I was hopeful that there would be something special coming back. Otherwise, I did not see any urgency to deal him, as I did with most of the other departed Pirates.

It’s sufficient to say that I was initially underwhelmed by the players coming back to the Pirates. However, after taking a closer look, I think it is better than I originally thought. Kevin Hart has put up some solid Triple-A peripherals over the past few seasons, striking out over a batter an inning while keeping his walk rate manageable. I see him probably being a decent reliever in the long run, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if he ends up as a fourth or fifth starter. I have fairly similar expectations for Hart’s future performance as I do for Gorzelanny, although I would much rather have Gorzo in the system. If we say this is the Hart for Gorzelanny segment of the trade, the Cubs come out somewhat on top.

That leaves us with John Grabow for Jose Ascanio and Josh Harrison. This is a very good exchange for the Pirates. Grabow is what he is: a solid yet unspectacular left-handed reliever. Consequently, even with his potential Type-A status, I did not expect to get much in return for him. I am very excited to get Ascanio in the system. He is only 24, has great stuff, and has performed very well this year, both as a Triple-A starter and as a major league reliever. I think he will be a good back-end reliever at the very least, with the potential to develop into a solid starter. Harrison is a long way from Pittsburgh, but he is an interesting player. He can play a multitude of positions, and hit .337/.377/.479 in 335 plate appearances at Low-A this year. His numbers have dropped a bit upon his promotion to High-A, but he is still performing pretty well. He is a good athlete, and I would not be surprised to see him end up as a super utility player, similar to a Ryan Freel.

This deal will likely hinge on Gorzelanny. If he can regain some semblance of his 2007 form, the Pirates are going to regret this deal. Otherwise, they received a pretty decent haul for what they surrendered. This trade does not have the same excitement factor as Wednesday’s deals, but it is still a decent move.

(P.S. It is nice to feel disappointed about a “decent move.”)

Grabow and Gorzelanny dealt to Cubs

Dejan is reporting that a trade sending John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Cubs is nearly complete. There are no further details, but I would hope to receive a pretty nice return. Grabow will likely end up as a Type A free agent this offseason, which could potentially net a valuable draft pick for the Pirates. Gorzelanny has pitched pretty well in Triple-A this season, and I still see him as a piece in the future rotation. Hopefully, Neal Huntington has some more tricks up his sleeve.

I will update further when more details become available. As always, watch the Twitter feed and the PBC Blog for up to the second news.

UPDATE (5:45 PM): Dejan reports that the deal is done.  Still no word on a return.  Stay tuned.

UPDATE (5:53 PM): From Jen Langosch’s Twitter feed: “Pirates deal John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to Cubs for RHP Kevin Hart, RHP Jose Ascanio, IF Josh Harrison”

Posted in John Grabow, Tom Gorzelanny. Comments Off on Grabow and Gorzelanny dealt to Cubs

Karstens is the Hero in Relief

Jeff Karstens was yanked from the rotation favor of newly acquired Charlie Morton. Hamstring issues forced Morton from the game after just one inning. In stepped Karstens and he allowed just one run in 4-2/3 to earn the win.

Pirate offense was once again scarce. Adam LaRoche drove in a run with a grounder in the third and another with an infield single in the seventh.

Atlanta’s tallies came on same-inning doubles from Yunel Escobar and Brian McCann in the sixth and a solo homer in the 9th by Garret Anderson off of Matt Capps.

Jair Jurrjens allowed two runs in six innings but took the loss. He allowed four singles and whiffed seven. Capps got the save.

The Good

Nice to see Karstens come through.

Freddy Sanchez had two hits, including another double.

The Bad

Not too much offense. Yet again. But at least it was enough

The Rest

The last Pirate starter to last an inning or less was Tom Gorzelanny  on 5-28-09. Of course, his outing was shortened due to ineffectiveness and not an injury.

The last Pirate reliever to toss 4-2/3 or more was Shawn Chacon who went five on 5-17-07 in relief of Tony Armas, Jr.

Despite allowing just 8 earned runs in 23 innings pitched, Jurrjens career mark against Pittsburgh fell to 1-3.

Bucs Offense Busts Out Late

The Pirates scored five times in the 8th to overcome another shaky start from Ian Snell. The Pirates cobbled together five runs on a double, four singles, a walk and an error to take advantage of Pedro Feliciano and then J.J. Putz and finally Brian Stokes.

They wasted the effort of the always game Livan Hernandez. He allowed three runs in 5-2/3, needing just a shade over 100 tosses to get that far. Snell allowed five runs in six innings on two doubles, a triple, three singles and a walk. Snell’s ERA in May was 7.50 and he has gotten off to a bad start in June.

The Pirates burst gave the win to Tom Gorzelanny, who tossed 1/3 of an inning. Matt Capps finished for the save.  

The Good

The late offensive outburt.

It is June. Is it Adam LaRoche time? He kicked off the month with three hits, including two doubles. Andy LaRoche drove home three and Jack Wilson had three safeties.

The Bullpen went three innings of one hit ball.

The Bad

Snell

The Rest

Adam LaRoche’s career June BA is lower than his career BA in May. He usually waits until July to get going. He hit .253 in June 2008 and .238 in June 2007.

Snell’s ERA is a half run worse than the Pirates next worse starter. His current K/9 ratio would be a career worst. His current BB/9 ratio is also a career worst.

Welcome Steven Jackson to the Show. He was acquired off waivers from the Bombers, who got him in the Randy Johnson trade. He tossed a scoreless inning, walking one.

Karstens Sharp as Bucs Win

Jeff Karstens looked good over seven innings, allowing just two runs and seven hits. He surrendered three singles, three doubles and a walk in needing just 87 pitches to get that deep.

The Pirates jumped on Wandy Rodriguez immediately, utilizing a walk and four singles to plate three runs in the first.

Eric Hinske had three hits, Jack Wilson had a pair of doubles, Robinzon Diaz drove in two and Freddy Sanchez collected two more hits to pace the Pirates attack.

Trailing 7-2 heading into the 9th, Houston loaded the bases with two outs off Tom Gorzelanny. Matt Capps was called in – his first appearance since being hit in the elbow by a liner. He forced home two runs with a BB and an HBP before getting Carlos Lee to end it.

The Good

Karstens

Sanchez is hitting .333 now

The Bad

Would like to see Gorzy and Capps get squared away.

The Rest

Brandon Backe made his first appearance of 2009. He was sidelined with a strained “intercoastal” muscle. It has been a tough couple of months for Backe as he was also arrested at a wedding reception in the off season.

Sanchez has 14 hits in his last 22 at bats.

Adam LaRoche, Nate McLouth and Brandon Moss were kept out of the starting line up. John Russell penciled in Andy LaRoche into the second spot – the highest in the batting order he has hit all season – and he responded with a single and a double.

Rodriguez gave up five earned runs for the first time this year. He gave up six runs to Cincinnati in his last start, but they were all unearned. August 5, 2008 was the last time Rodriguez gave up five or more earnies.