Bucs Fall in 15

The pitcher scheduled to start Wednesday’s game – Jeff Karstens – was forced into duty as the Pirates and Braves went long. Karstens ended it quickly by just one of the five hitters he faced. The winning run scored on a bases loaded grounder from former Bucco David Ross.

Atlanta’s bullpen blew a three run lead in the seventh, but then remained unscored upon for nearly nine straight innings. Rookie Kris Medlan tossed the final two innings for the win.

The Braves did some damage early against Zach Duke. He gave up six runs in six innings. Duke was taken deep by Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Nate McLouth (hey, his name is familiar).

The Good

Andrew McCutchen had four hits including a double and a pair of triples

Evan Meek tossed three scoreless innings

The Bad

Jason Jaramillo struck out four times and had to pull his foot off the plate to get Jack Wilson’s throw on Ross’ grounder in the 15th, allowing the winning run to score.

Craig Monroe was thrown out at home in the 11th trying to score on a double from McCutchen.

The Rest

This was the Pirates first 15 inning contest since last April 9th against the Cubs.

Meek has pitched three innings twice in his career. The other time was May 3, 2009 in relief of Jeff Karstens against Cincinnati.

This was McCutchen’s fifth career game. The last Pirate rookie to collect four or more hits this early in his career was John Wehner who had five singles on 7/23/91 against Atlanta.

Bobby Cox picked up his 2,000 win as Braves manager.

 

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Duke Outduels Santana

That headline is a shocker. Dewey defeats Truman. Man bites dog. Things you don’t expect to see in print. But it happened. Zach Duke allowed 8 singles and one run in seven innings against NYM. He was touched in the fifth when the Mets put together two singles, a sac bunt and a sac fly. In the third, he was spared a run when Nate McLouth gunned down Jeremy Reed at the plate.

Jason Jaramillo’s first career tater tied it in the bottom of the fifth. The Pirates had two on with one gone later in the inning when Nyjer Morgan hit into a DP. Morgan didn’t like the call and was tossed from the game. The Bucs forged ahead one inning later off of Johan Santana (6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). A Freddy Sanchez single preceded consecutive doubles from McLouth and Andy LaRoche to put the Pirates up 3-1.

That’s where it stayed. John Grabow and Matt Capps contributed a perfect inning of relief to the effort.

The Good

I’m digging the 2009 Zach Duke. His ERA is 2.62.

Sanchez had two more hits, including his 19th double. McLouth had a triple to go with his double.

The Bad

I got nothing.

The Rest

Bucs are 2-0 in June.

This was Santana’s first career loss against the Buccos. His last start was a three hit complete game shutout (8-17-08).

This was Duke’s first win against NYM since 9-17-06.

Sanchez is 18 for his last 38 ABs.

The Pirates were collectively hitting less than .200 against Santana before going 7-18 tonight.

 

Big 7th Fuels Bucs to Series Win

The Pirates offense broke free with a little help from Ryan Spilborghs. The Pirates sent 14 ment to the plate and Spilborghs made a pair of errors as the Pirates put up 10 runs and ran off to an 11-4 win to take the series.

Zach Duke pitched seven innings to get the win. He gave up four runs – all in the fourth inning. He gave up six hits and two walks. Four of those hits and one of the walks came in the fourth. Evan Meek tossed two scoreless innings to finish up.

Nate McLouth had hit a solo homer in the third to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead before falling behind after the fourth. But in the 7th, the Rockies bullpen failed for the second straight day. Ubaldo Jimenez gave up five hits and whiffed seven through six. But he was pulled in favor of Matt Daley. He faced three hitters and retired none. Then he was yanked for Alan Embree who didn’t fair any better. Embree gave way to Manny Corpas who scattered two outs among the five earned runs he was charged with. Jason Grilli was called in to mop up and got the final out.

The damage was done. McLouth had two hits in the inning and drove in three runs in that single frame. Andy LaRoche contributed a two run double.

The Good 

Duke moves to 5-3 on the year.

McLouth was 3-5 with those 4 RBIs, a double and a tater

Brandon Moss had two more hits and two walks.

The Bad

Not much. Delwyn Young left runners on with two outs in each of his first two at bats. He singled in his final two at bats, scored twice and drove in one.

The Rest

Last time the Pirates put up a 10 spot was 8/20/03 when Reggie Sanders homered twice in the fifth against St. Louis. Jeff D’Amico went the distance for a CG shutout.

This was McLouth’s second 4 RBI game of the year. He has driven in four or more five times in his career now. Last time he homered in consecutive games was 7/7-8/08 against Houston.

Bucs Bullpen Outlasts Rain, Rockies

It wasn’t a pretty game. It was one of those that you’ll hear people associate with the grind of a long seasn. A nealry 2 hour long rain delay interrupted the Pirates – Rockies game that the Pirates won with three runs in the middle innings off the Colorado bullpen.

The rain stopped a couple of ugly innings that Ian Snell and Aaron Cook tossed. Cook gave up four runs and retired five batters. Snell allowed three runs in two innings. Neither returned after the delay.

 The big hit was from Nate McLouth who delivered a tie breaking solo homer in the fifth. Delwyn Young, Andy LaRoche and Jack Wilson each drove in two runs.

Sean Burnett got the win in relief. He gave up the run that tied the score at 4-4, but otherwise was unscathed over three innings.

The Good

Two straight wins, well almost

Nate the Great! Nate the Great!

The Bad

The only starter without a knock is Freddy Sanchez, who is hitless thus far in the series.

The Rest

Matt Belisle has 17 career wins. Six of those are against the Pirates. But, he was victimized by McLouth and gets the loss.

Burnett’s win was his second since 7/25/04.

Brandon Moss has nine hits and three RBI in his last fifteen ABs to pull his average to .235. He had just three RBI in his first 86 ABs.

Ohlendorf, McLouth Put Bucs over .500

Nate McLouth started the scoring with an RBI single in the fourth and capped it with a 3 run jack in the sixth. Ross Ohlendorf  allowed just two singles and a walk in seven innings to pick up his first win as a Pirate.

Florida’s best chance to score came in the first when Emilio Bonifacio led off with a single and John Baker reached on an error by Jack Wilson. Ohlendorf settled in to prevent any damage by retiring 18 of the next 19 hitters.

Tyler Yates and Jesse Chavez tossed an inning of perfect ball each to finish it off.

The Good

Ohlendorf’s first win came in his longest outing as a Big League starter.

This was the Pirates fourth shutout of the season. The Pirates had exactly two in all of 2008. Is this in fact an aberration or an early manifestation of Magic Joe Kerrigan?

Adam LaRoche has passed his April 2008 RBI total and equaled his April 2008 run scored total.

Every starting non-pitcher had at least one knock. Including Andy LaRoche. Jason Jaramillo had his first ever two hit game.

The Bucs left Florida with just their second loss on the year.

The Bad

Jack Wilson made his second error in as many games.

The game was delayed by rain and the stands (ESPN showed this game and the Reds/Astros since the regularly scheduled game was rained out) were nearly empty. Attendance was listed as 8,790.

The Rest

Former Pirate turned super utility guy Alfredo Amezega was hitless in two ABs. There was no sighting of former catcher Ronny Paulino who backs up in Florida and is off to a decent start.

Not a fan of Tim Brown’s post on steroids. Of course grown men should be responsible for their own actions. However, people in position of leadership are responsible for having the vision – both of what might go well and what might not go well – and doing their best to secure a bright future. That responsibility I lay squarely at the feet of Bud Selig and Don Fehr. They couldn’t have prevented every single player from using steroids. But they sure should’ve made a better effort. Brown’s case is a bit like letting our government and the heads of national banks off the hook for allowing such loose regulations on borrowing. Of course the people who borrowed too much are to blame. But, our leadership – both governmental and financial – should’ve seen this coming. That’s why they are leaders – they are supposed to have vision. Jumping down off my soap box. You can’t legislate morality into people’s lives (some guys will take PEDs and some guys will spend too much no matter what), but you should be able to legislate common sense so that fewer people are tempted to keep up with the Joneses. Getting down off my soap box now.

 

Maholm’s Arm, Bucco Long Balls Best Reds

What a great sign it is to see Paul Maholm toss the ball so well. He was perfect into the fourth inning and allowed just three hits and one run over seven.

Nate McLouth belted a two run homer in the first inning and also drove in a run in a two run fourth to ease the Pirates to a nice lead. Maholm did the rest.

Ryan Doumit hit a grand slam and Adam LaRoche followed with a solo homer in the ninth to put the Pirates run total to 10.

 

The Good

Maholm’s outing was nothing less than stellar. 11 ground ball outs to six fly ball outs in GABP is critical.

Nyjer Morgan continues to do the job at the top of the order. He had three hits – including a triple off the glove of Willy Taveras – and two steals to go along with walk.

The defense committed no errors and Brandon Moss and McLouth registered OF assists

The Bad

No errors but an 0-5 for Andy LaRoche who is still hitless on the year.

Jesse Chavez allowed a run in the ninth in mop up duty.

The Rest

Former Pirate Mike Lincoln was the victim of the HRs by Doumit and LaRoche

Reds Pitcher Micah Owings singled as a pinch hitter, making him 7-23 in his career as PH.

 

McLouth Wins Gold Glove, But Should He Have?

I am certainly not going to claim advance SABRmetric knowledge on defensive statistics. However, I do know two things:

 

1. Nate McLouth has been awarded a Gold Glove for 2008.

2. There were some questions among the baseball thinkers earlier this year that Nate’s defense wasn’t as good as the raw numbers (as in errors committed) would lead one to believe.

 

Is this another case of the voting non-public having their collective noodles up their collective tushies? I think that the majority of the voters simply looked at errors allowed and his fielding average and concluded that Nate was splendid on defense. Again, not an expert, but I would surmise that something deeper than a mere glance at the surface is needed before voting on awards like these.

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