Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Blass. Bucs SWEEP

3 5 1 5
5 5 1 4

This game immediately turns into a pitching duel if not for Bronson Arroyo's meltdown in the 4th.  Only one player made it on base through 3 innings for both teams, a Maholm walk of Cabrera in the 1st.

In the 4th, Delwyn Young and Clutch get singles and Legend draws a walk to load the bases.  Ryan Church hits a single to shallow left to score one run, but the other baserunners are forced to hold.  Bobby Crosby gets hit by a pitch to score Young.  2-0.  Jason Jaramillo comes up to the plate.  Bases clearing double.


That was pretty much it for the Pirates' bats, but that was all it took.  Jay Bruce hit 2 solo home runs and Maholm gave up a run on a double in the 7th, but it was all meaningless.  Octavio Dotel had 3 strikeouts in the 9th.


Miscellaneous shit
  • Much has been made about this season so far resembling the 1960 World Series.  I can definitely see where they are coming from.  Currently, the Pirates are 1 game behind the NL Leaders (St. Louis, San Francisco, and Philadelphia all are at 8-4) and a half game behind Florida (8-5).  And yet, the Bucs have the third worst run differential in all of baseball at -22.  Only Baltimore and Houston are doing worse (-24 and -29, respectively), but neither of those teams have more than 3 wins.  So what does this mean?  The Bucs had a few bad outings. And I mean really bad.  However, they're winning the close games.  Games where maybe in previous years they don't get it done.  The relievers, apart from those really bad games where the starter had already made the game a foregone conclusion, have been pretty good.  Not great, but good.  Good enough to get the job done when necessary.  Yeah, they might give up a run here and there.  Yeah, they might have that one night where they walk in 2 runs.  In those cases, the batters have stepped up, as evidenced by the 3 walk-off wins the Pirates have so far this year.  The only thing I can say about it is that I would rather take those close wins and a few blowout losses than to lose the close games and have a few blowout wins.  In the world of baseball, and especially for the Pirates, winning is everything.
  • There were a lot of defensive highlights in the early part of this game.  Ronny Cedeno had a nice leaping throw in the 2nd to record an out at first that you can see here (it's the #4 play).  Just ignore the random splicing of clips from the Deadliest Catch.  Later in the game Garret Jones made a couple leaping grabs and Paul Maholm made a nice catch between the mound and first base.  Not exactly his circus throw of a few games ago, but pretty neat nonetheless.  Lastings Milledge made a nice diving catch at some point too.
  • Paul Maholm had a great start today, with only 4 hits, 2 runs and 1 walk allowed.  He also had 5 strikeouts in his 6.6 innings.  The win improves his record to 1-1.
  • Nearly 14,000 for a 43 degree, cloudy game is a pretty decent draw.
  • Bucs take on the Brewers next at PNC.  This series will be a good measure of exactly how well this team is doing.

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