Sunday, June 6, 2010

Double up. Bucs WIN

3 9 0 8
6 13 1 7

The Pirates finally were able to score runs in more than just 2 innings, and a starter was able to get a W, breaking the 3-win ceiling that had been standing for all the starters.  Paul Maholm finally has some good luck as an error doesn't cost him any runs and the defense behind him as well as the Pirates offense finally give him some help.  He pitched very well, as usual for the Pirates' most consistent starter, going 6.1 innings with only 2 runs and 6 hits.

Meek and Hanrahan dominated their opposition, facing a combined 6 batters over 1.2 innings with 1 hit allowed.  Octavio Dotel was shaky but got the job done.  It wasn't a high-pressure situation and it wasn't a save situation, so his pitching wasn't as good as it usually is because, as he's said on several occasions, he pitches best when the pressure is on.

The real story tonight was the emergence of some offense.  The Pirates hadn't scored 6 or more runs against any team not named the Brewers or Cubs since April 13, which coincidentally was also against the Giants.  Andrew McCutchen went 4 for 5 with a double and a homer, Neil Walker went 2 for 3 with a triple and a walk, and Ryan Doumit went 2 for 3 with a double, a sac fly, and a 2-run homer, and had 4 RBIs.  John Russell had been tinkering with the lineup for a while, and tonight these guys were the 1-2-3.  Looks like he found something that worked.  Delwyn Young, playing RF in the 5th spot, also had a nice night, going 2 for 4. Even Aki had a good night as a pinch hitter, getting a hit and giving Cutch a chance to hit for the cycle if he could get a triple.  Speaking of the cycle, the Bucs did just that in the 3rd, with a Cutch double, a Walker triple, a Doumit homer, and a Jones single to lead off the inning.

This was a great, encouraging win, as some of the young guys are really starting to shine.  The only bad thing to note about this game is that I'm really starting to hate seeing Andy LaRoche get the start at 3rd.  His offense and his defense are both really starting to suck (he hasn't gotten more than 2 hits in a game since late April, and since then he's only had 2 hits five times).  In this game he grounded into 2 double plays, grounded out, and flied out. Despite what Huntington says, I think it's time to bring up Pedro and give him a shot.  Who knows how many of those double plays would have been RBIs if we had a decent hitter up to bat?

The Bucs will try to win the series today, not an easy task against Tim Lincecum.  We'll just have to hope for one of those "Bucs out-duel an ace with a so-so pitcher" type games.

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