Dempster Shuts Down Buccos

Ryan Dempster tossed a complete game shutout. That’s all you really need to know. Beyond that, the details are that the Pirates defense – a low toss from Garrett Jones to Kevin Hart covering first and a miscue from Delwyn Young – allowed three unearned runs to score.

Dempster allowed five hits, walked two and whiffed five. Hart went four and gave up six runs (three were earned as previously noted). He gave up six hits and hurt himself with four walks.

Derrek Lee, Micah Hoffpauir and Jeff Baker drove in two runs each for Chicago.

The Good

The bullpen went five scoreless innings.

Andy LaRoche had a pair of doubles.

The Bad

The lack of offense is staggering.

The Rest

Dempster’s last shutout came in 2001.

The Pirates have been shutout 16 times in 2009. That’s four more than the next closest. Last time the Pirates were shutout with more frequency was 1985 when they were blanked 19 times.

Probably a toss up between Torii Hunter and Derrek Lee as to who the second best player was from the 1993 draft. The best was of course A-Rod.

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Reds Pour it on and Clobber Buccos

Don’t even know how to start with this one. Offense – weak. Starting pitching – not sharp. Relief pitching – yuck. Defense – one error leading to an unearned run. Add it all up and you have a blow out.

Kevin Hart managed to scatter 13 outs among the 8 runs he gave up. Homer Bailey allowed just four hits and two runs in six innings. All told the Pirates managed just five hits. Joey Votto alone had four hits. Five different Reds knocked in two runs. Virgil Vasquez gave up three runs in the 9th.

The Good

Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and an outfield assist

The Bad

All the aforementioned stuff.

The Rest

Homer Bailey has six wins in 2009. Three of them are against the Pirates in the last month.

This was Votto’s fifth career four hit game. His seven hits over the last two games set a career mark for him.

Cutch’s doubles put him in the top five among MLB rookies in too many categories for me to count – runs, hits, doubles, RBI, total bases, hits, etc. It’s a close race in both leagues for Rookie of the Year. No one is having a monster year.

Hart has dropped six straight starts.

Brandon Phillips now has 17 RBIs against the Pirates in 2009.

Bucs need to go 7-5 to avoid 100 losses.

 

Kemp’s Homer Paces Dodgers in Sweep

Matt Kemp hit a two run dinger in the sixth as Kevin Hart’s solid effort was wasted. Jason Jaramillo drove in the Pirates lone run in the second with a single. It stayed that way until Kemp’s homer. Ronnie Belliard hit a solo tater off of Phil Dumatrait in the 8th for the last score.

Hiroki Kuroda was the winner. He K’d seven, walked none, gave up six hits and just one run in six innings. Hart gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings of toil. But it wasn’t enough.

The Good

The starters have done a swell job in LA.

The Bad

The bullpen – not so much of a good job. Ditto the offense.

The Rest

The Dodger bullpen tossed 12 innings without allowing an earned run.

The Pirates whiffed 11 times overall. Steve Pearce was 0-4 but was the only member of the starting 8 not to strike out.

This was the 26th time that Pirate hitters have whiffed in double digits. Pirate pitchers have hit double digits just 9 times.

As Matt Kemp approaches 100 RBI, let’s look for the last home grown Dodger to reach triple digits. It was Adrian Beltre in 2004. Eric Karros (five times) and Mike Piazza (three times) each did it a bunch. Last farm raised Bucco was Aramis Ramirez in 2001.

Cards Clobber Hart, Bucs Bullpen in a Laugher

The losing streak has reached 8 games. Kevin Hart was torched as the Pirates fell behind 5-0 early on. The offense put up a six spot in the fifth frame off of Adam Wainwright. The final three runs scored on a two run bloop triple from Brandon Moss that turned into a little league homer as an error from Skip Schumaker allowed Moss to score.

The lead didn’t last. Hart was pulled with two gone in the sixth and Denny Bautista allowed a three run homer to Albert Pujols. St. Louis tacked on six more runs over the next two innings to pull away easily.

Ryan Ludwick had a career night. He was 5-5 with two homers, two doubles and five runs driven in. Matt Holliday, whose BA is approaching .400 with the Cards, also homered.

Wainwright allowed six earned runs in five innings. Hart gave up five earned runs and seven overall in 5-2/3.

The Good

Well, there was some offense. Lastings Milledge batted clean up and continuest to rake – he had two more hits. Ryan Doumit had three singles.

The Bad

The pitching. Only Chris Bootcheck looked decent. Phil Dumatrait gave up four runs in 1/3 of an IP.

Eight straight losses with two more games against the Cardinals this weekend.

The Rest

Bautista came into the game unscored upon in 2009 over six innings and four outings.

This was just the second time this year that Wainwright allowed six runs or more. He held on enough and got enough support to get the win tonight.

Millege was hitting .396 over his last sixteen games before tonight.

The five RBI tied Ludwick’s career high, as did the two homers. Five hits and 13 total bases established single game marks for his career.

Hart’s ERA with the Wriglies was 2.60. With Pittsburgh it is on the ugly side of 6.00.

This was the 9th time in 2009 that opponents had reached double digits in runs against the Pirates. It was the 10th time that opponents had tallied 15 or more knocks. Those stats for 2008? 23 times giving up 10 or more runs and 20 times giving up 15 or more hits.

 

Bucs Struggles in Milwaukee Continue

It is hard to win when you don’t do anything particularly well. Kevin Hart started and took the loss after allowing five runs in six innings. Phil Dumatrait and Steven Jackson each allowed a run in their inning of relief.

The offense scored three runs, all of which came in the 5th inning. The Pirates briefly held a lead that the pitching staff and the defense couldn’t hold onto. Delwyn Young committed an error to start the bottom of the fifth and that lead off hitter – Felipe Lopez – eventually scored on a double play ground ball. A goofed double play helped Milwaukee score a pair in the third. With one out and runners on the corners, Steve Pearce fielded a ground ball and tossed to Brian Bixler covering second. Bixler fell coming across the bag and was unable to complete the twin killing. That allowed one run to score and three batters later, Hart walked Prince Fielder with the bases loaded to force in another run.

Andy LaRoche hit a two run homer for the highlight of the Pirates offense.

Yovani Gallardo started but was ineffective. He gave up three runs in five innings. He struck out seven. Claudio Vargas was the winner in relief.

The Good

Lastings Milledge had two hits.

The Bad

Offense. Defense. Pitching. Attitude? see below

Bixler struck out three times.

The Rest

Ryan Doumit did not play after being pulled from yesterday’s game for undisclosed reasons. Skipper John Russell declined to give details, but confirmed that Doumit is not injured. Attitude issues?

This was LaRoche’s third homer of the month – tops in 2009 for him.

Gallardo had split two decisions against Pittsburgh in 2009. This was his fourth start against the Pirates this year.

Hart beat the Beer Makers earlier in the month in Pittsburgh.

 

 

Reds, Bailey Prevent Sweep

Homer Bailey allowed one run on four hits and four walks in seven innings of work. The Reds offense scored single runs in four different frames to beat Kevin Hart.

Brandon Phillips put a sandwich on the scoring with RBIs in the first and seventh innings. In between, the Reds got run scoring plays from Jonny Gomes and Joey Votto. Meanwhile, the Pirates left the bases loaded in the first and two men on in the second inning. The Pirates didn’t score until the fifth when Andrew McCutchen walked, stole second and scored on a single from Delwyn Young. That was the last time a Pirate batter would get so far as second base as Bailey got better as the game progressed and the Reds bullpen did the rest.

Hart gave up three runs on six hits in five innings. Joel Hanrahan loaded the bases and struck out the side in the 9th.

The Good

Young had two hits to go along with his RBI.

Chris Bootcheck tossed a perfect 8th inning to lower his ERA to less than 20.00.

The Bad

Getting beat by Homer Bailey, who for all the hype, has not pitched very well this year.

The Rest

This was Young’s 22nd multi-hit game of 2009.

This was Bailey’s first career appearance against the Pirates. His ERA coming into the game was 7.53.

Brandon Phillips has driven in 70 or more runs in four straight years. The last Reds second baseman to do that was Hall of Famer Joe Morgan from 1975 to 1978.

Bucs Blast Brewers with Three Homers

The Pirates bats finally showed some signs of life, as they backed up a decent enough pitching performance to end an ugly losing skid.

Trailing 1-0 after the first frame, Andy LaRoche’s sixth homer of the year – a solo shot off of Carlos Villanueva – knotted the score after two innings. Villanueva ran into more trouble. The Pirates put 10 men to the dish and scored five times on seven hits. Garrett Jones delivered a tie-breaking two run homer among the knocks.

But Milwaukee crept back in against Kevin Hart. He allowed a solo dinger to Prince Fielder and a two run shot to Mike Cameron to make it 6-4. With the score 7-5, Ronny Cedeno hit a two run homer off of Jesus Colome to give the Pirates the final cushion.

The Good

Hart’s first win as a Pirate. Decent enough outing. Most nights it wouldn’t have been enough, though.

I knew I should’ve bought that Garrett Jones jersey t-shirt at the Dick’s by the Pittsburgh airport.

Delwyn Young had three singles.

The defense turned three double plays.

The Bad

Just one BB earned.

The Rest

Skipper Ken Macha has been hitting SS Alcides Escobar in the 9th spot since J.J. Hardy’s demotion. He did it again in this game.

Hart had his first career two hit game.

This was just the second time in two months that the Pirates tallied 15 hits or more in a game.This was just the second time this month the Pirates scored more than seven runs in a game. This was just the third time since the All-Star break the Pirates put three homers over the fence in one game.

Matt Capps pitched a perfect 9th. It was the first time since July 7th that he didn’t allow a runner on base during an outing. That seems almost unbelievable.

Jason Kendall had two singles. Former Pirate Jody Gerut was unsuccessful in a pinch hitting role.

Andy LaRoche has six homers in 386 ABs. Ronny Cedeno has 8 (including five with Seattle) in 245 ABs.

Remember when Prince Fielder’s vegetarian diet was the cause of his power outage? He hit his 31st homer and now has the league lead in RBIs.