Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fireworks. Bucs WIN

6 7 2 4
12 17 0 8

This game had it all, highs and lows.  Ross Ohlendorf got yanked after just 1.1 IP, giving up 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, and 1 HR.  Carrasco came in for 3.1 innings of long relief, giving up 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, and 0 HR. The rest of the bullpen (Lopez, Donnelly, Meek, Hanrahan, Dotel) had a combined one-hitter, adding 3 more Ks in the process.

The offense, meanwhile, awoke in a huge way.  After going up 3-0 in the first inning, the lead was lost as the Astros came back 4-3.  But the Pirates came back in the bottom of the 2nd, making it 5-4.  And then it was the Astros turn to come back in the 5th, scoring 2 runs to take the lead again 6-5.  But in the bottom, the Pirates finally took the lead back for good, going up 7-6, and then adding 2 more in the 6th and 3 more in the 8th.

Every spot in the order had at least 1 hit, and the 2-8 spots all had two or more.  Jones, Cedeno, Tabata, Alvarez, and Walker all had doubles.  Neil Walker went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs. Tabata and Milledge also had 2 RBIs each.  Even Ryan Church had a nice AB as a pinch hitter, scoring newly called up catcher Erik Kratz.  Was his calling up what sparked the Pirates offense in this game? Or was it the sold-out crowd atmosphere on fireworks night that helped to motivate the team? I don't know, but it was refreshing to not see a team steal bases on us at will, and it was great to see a guy like Kratz, a perennial minor leaguer, finally get a shot at the big leagues and do so well in his debut (2 for 5 with an RBI and a run).

As fir the other aspects of the game, Cutch stole another base, giving him 21 steals on the year, tying him in second place on the NL list with Nyjer Morgan.  Lastings Milledge also made a nice catch.

So the Pirates have the somewhat daunting task of winning the series against the noted Pirate-killer Roy Oswalt.  If the Pirates that show up look anything like the Pirates of this game, they might just have a chance.  No guarantees, as always.

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