Giants Sweep Series, Shutout Pirates, Trade for Sanchez

The Giants won, allowed no runs and then traded for Freddy Sanchez. It was a whirlwind. The only thing good that can come of it is if Tim Alderson, the AA pitcher the Pirates got in the one-for-one swap turns out to be a dandy.

Matt Cain tossed nine scoreless innings. But the Giants were unable to push a run across against his All-Star replacement, Zach Duke. Cain allowed three singles and two walks. Duke went seven and gave up six singles while walking just one.

In the 9th, Eugenio Velez singled and later scored on a single from Randy Winn. That came off of Matt Capps and made a winner of Brian Wilson, who tossed a scoreless 10th inning.

Having traded Jack Wilson and Ian Snell earlier in the day, the Pirates return to Pittsburgh looking like a much different ball club than when they left.

The Good

I like the 2009 version of Zach Duke.

The Bad

I can’t stop talking about the offense.

The Rest

Farewell, Jack and Freddy. Their jerseys and jersey t-shirts are sure to be discounted when I’m in Pittsburgh in a couple of weeks to see a couple of games.

Cain came into the game with a 4.65 career ERA against Pittsburgh. That represented the worst career ERA for him versus any opponent against whom he had thrown at least 30 innings.



Bucs Losing Streak Reaches Four

The Pirates offense continued to struggle as Barry Zito was knocked around for nine hits in 5-2/3 innings, but continually pitched out of trouble as he allowed just one run. With two on and no one out in the sixth, Zito got Luis Cruz and Charlie Morton out. With Andrew McCutchen due up, he was pulled for Sergio Romo. McCutchen, who had doubled and scored in the first, whiffed to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Morton surrendered an RBI double to Eugenio Velez, who had knotted the score earlier in the contest with a solo dinger.

Jesse Chavez yielded and RBI to Pablo Sandoval in the 7th. The Pirates scored off Jeremy Affeldt in the 8th on a sac fly from Cruz. But Brian Wilson closed out the game in the 9th for the save.

Romo was the winner, going 1/3 of an inning. Morton was the loser despite allowing just two earned runs in six innings.

The Good

Bucs collected 10 hits after getting just nine in the previous two games

I’ll take that outing from Morton all season long.

Ryan Doumit stayed hot with two more hits.

The Bad

4th straight loss.

Bucs have scored just four runs in those four losses.

The Rest

This was the 12th time this year the Pirates managed 10 hits in a losing effort.

Velez came into the game just 3-18 in his career against the Pirates.

Despite a career 3.63 ERA, Zito was 0-3 in three career starts against Pittsburgh before tonight.

Newly acquired Ryan Garko was 0-4 in his San Fran debut.

Steve Pearce was the only Pirate non-pitcher without a hit.

Bucs Actually Score, But Giants Win

Tim Lincecum tossed a complete game, striking out 15 and allowing just four hits and two unearned runs. The Giants got to Paul Maholm early scoring four times in the first two frames with the big blow being a two run triple by Andres Torres in the second.

Maholm allowed eight hits and four runs in six innings. He gave up just two hits over the final four frames.

The Pirates had nothing going until an error from Edgar Renteria to start the sixth opened some rather small floodgates. Unfortunately, both runs scored on out-making plays – a ground out from Garrett Jones and a sac flly from Ryan Doumit.

The Good

Pirates broke their scoreless streak.

The Bad

The losing streak continues.

The Rest

This was Lincecum’s first career win against Pittsburgh and is his best strikeout performance of 2009.

Coming into the game Maholm was 1-0 with a 2.31 career ERA against San Francisco in five starts. He received a no decision on 7/17 after throwing 8 innings and allowing just one run.

Jones came into the game with 11 hits in his last 21 at bats before going hitless.

Doumit has at least one hit in 10 of his last 11 games, pulling his average up from .206 (on 7/17) to .248.

Torres came into 2009 having played in just 11 ML games since 2003 and none since 2005. Since that time he’d played in the minors with Minnesota, Detroit and the Cubs.



Offensive Woes Continue to Plague Bucs, Duke

Zach Duke was undone by a single bad inning as Matt Cain countered with 7 innings of one run baseball. Duke gave up four doubles and four runs in the sixth inning. That was enough for cain who allowed Brandon Moss’ solo jack in the 2nd and whiffed eight to move to 11-2 on the year. Duke allowed only three other hits, but the Pirates offense stalled in the match-up of All-Stars.

With Cain gone in the 8th, the Pirates closed to within one on a two run single from Ryan Doumit. But Andy LaRoche hit into an inning ending double play. Brian Wilson finished up the 9th for the save.

The Good

No issues with Duke’s outing. More support would put him on pace for 14-16 wins.

The Bad

The offense

The Rest

Duke beat the Giants twice in 2008, including a shutout on 9/5/08.

This was Cain’s first career win against Pittsburgh. Cain has never beaten NL West rival LA, sporting a career 0-6 mark against the Trolley Dodgers.

Doumit had his first multi-RBI game since 4/13/09.

Had the Pirates broken through in the 8th to go ahead, it would’ve made a winner of Joel Hanrahan who pitched a scoreless inning as first man out of the bullpen after Duke’s seven innings.

Morton Sharp as Bucs Again Beat Frisco

Charlie Morton tossed seven innings of three hit, two walk, zero run baseball to push the Pirates over the Giants. Morton struck out six. John Grabow worked a scoreless 8th and Matt Capps put two runneres on in the 9th before closing out the contest.

Andrew McCutchen had two hits and started a first inning rally that eventually made a loser of Barry Zito who allowed both Pirate tallies in 6-1/3 innings. Zito allowed six hits and no walks while striking out four.

The Good

Two straight wins.

I’ll take that from Morton or anyone else for that matter.

The Bad

Garrett Jones homer streak ended, though he did have a double.

Where is the offense?!

The Rest

Morton’s only other start came last year (8-17) when he was a Brave and resulted in a loss. He tied his career best for Ks tonight with six, which was set – coincidentally enough – against San Francisco last season.

Zito is now 0-3 in his career verus Pittsburgh. He has not yielded more than three runs in any of his three appearances.

Prior to last night’s game, the Pirates were just 1-30 in games in which they scored two or fewer runs. Now they have won two straight.

Jones Does it Again (Twice)

Garrett Jones stroked two solo homers – one in the first and one in the 14th to end it. His blast in the 14th bounced into the river. Those were the only runs the Pirates scored, but it was good enough.

Paul Maholm and Tim Lincecum locked horns. Lincecum gave up the first homer, but otherwise was stingy, whiffing 10 and allowing just four other hits and no walks in seven innings. Maholm went 8 and gave up four hits and no walks while striking out seven.

Maholm’s lone run was unearned. It in the 7th with runners on the corners. Maholm’s pitched bounced away from Ryan Doumit, who quickly gathered it. With Pablo Sandoval trying to take second and two outs, Doumit fired to Freddy Sanchez in time. But the ball bounced off Sanchez’ glove. With the speedy Randy Winn moving early on the throw, he scored the tying run easily. That all set up Jones’ heroics.

His second homer came off of Bobby Howry and made a winner of Evan Meek who had pitched a scoreless inning.

The Good

A win

Jones – swing from your heels!

The Bad

The offense. Guh.

Brandon Moss was easily gunned down at home in the 7th on a single from Jack Wilson

Joel Hanrahan was allowed to pitch when the game was close and put two on with one gone in the 13th. He was pulled for Jesse Chavez who put out the fire.

The Rest

The win was Meek’s first career victory. He has given up just one run in his last nine innings over nine appearances. He joins Ross Ohlendorf, Virgil Vasquez, Steven Jackson and Charlie Morton in picking up their first career win as a Buc in 2009.

This was the first two homer game in Jones’ career. He has now homered in four straight games.

Lincecum’s only other career appearance came in his rookie year on 8-11-07. He was beaten by Tony Armas Jr. of all people.

This was the first time Maholm didn’t walk a batter all year. He had five such starts last year.