Bucs Rally to Avoid 82nd Loss

It looked bleak for the Smoky City Nine heading into the bottom of the 9th. Rick Ankiel homered off of Jesse Chavez in the top of the 9th to give St. Louis a 5-4 lead. The Cards trotted closer Ryan Franklin out to the mound to close the deal and not only give the Pirates a losing record but also mathematically eliminate them from the playoffs.

But the Pirates came up with four singles and two runs. The final tally came on a single from Garrett Jones. That made a winner of Chavez and a loser of Franklin.

The Cardinals scored in the first when Jason Jaramillo’s toss back to the mound sailed over the head of Paul Maholm and scored Julio Lugo from third. Hopefully he won’t get Mackey Sasser disease.

The Cardinals took a 4-1 lead before the Pirates scored three times in the sixth off of Joel Pineiro. Ronny Cedeno had a two run single and Jaramillo – who had three hits – struck the game tying blow.

That’s how it stayed until the 9th, staving off historical infamy for at least one more contest.

Maholm allowed four runs in six innings. He gave up six hits and whiffed seven. Pineiro also went six and gave up four tallies. He allowed eight safeties and struck out three.

The Good

13 hits.

A win.

Pirate pitchers combined for 10 whiffs.

The Bad

Jaramillo’s throw.

The Rest

Neil Walker gathered his first ML hit and first ML run.

Chavez recorded his first ML win.

Lastings Milledge has hits in 9 of his last 10 games. So has Jones.

The Pirates had not scored off of Franklin in his last 11 appearances covering 9-2/3 IP.

 

 

 

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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

Another Blown Lead, Another Brewer Win

The Pirates gave Paul Maholm a 5-1 lead to work with. And for a while it looked like it might hold up. Maholm left the bases full of Beer Makers in the third and fourth innings. But the wheels came off in the fifth and sixth.

After scoring twice in the fifth, Bill Hall led off the home half of the sixth with a solo homer to make it a one run game. One out later, Craig Counsell singled and Maholm was pulled in favor of Jesse Chavez. He was greeted by Rickie Weeks who lined a two run, go ahead homer just over the wall in left field. That put Milwaukee up for good.

The Milwaukee pen allowed just one Pirate runner over the final four frames.

Jason Jaramillo and Eric Hinske each drove in two runs for the Pirates to pace the early innings attack.

The Good

No complaints about the production from Jaramillo. He hit his fifth double and drove in two. His BA is a nice .345.

Milwaukee was 1-9 with RISP. This could’ve been much worse. Of course, Bucco hitters were just 2-9. So, maybe it could’ve been better.

The Bad

Bucs hurlers gave up nine walks.

Pirates have dropped an unbelievable 17 straight at Miller Park.

Andy LaRoche’s hitting streak was snapped at 11 games.

The Rest

Clearly Jerry Crasnick’s story has jinxed the Pirates pitchers.

It tells you how far he has fallen in the batting order – Jason Kendall drew his third IBB of the season. That gives him 10 free passes in the past two seasons. Between 2001 and 2005 he was walked intentionally a total of 10 times.