Monday, May 9, 2011

Recap: Ryan Doumit, Mr. Clutch? BUCS WIN.

team-spacer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 inning-spacer R H E LOB
Astros 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 score-spacer 4 8 0 6
Pirates 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 X score-spacer 5 8 1 6

It's an exciting time to be a Bucco fan. Yes, it's early. Yes, this probably won't last. But it's been a long time since the Pirates were even relevant this late into the season. They came out of a stretch of tough opponents and teams that gave them fits in the past as winners. By my count, they've only lost one series to a currently bad team all year (Brewers). The next nine games look very winnable for the Pirates, with 4 games against the floundering Dodgers, 3 games against the struggling Brewers, and 2 games against the always down and out Nationals. Of those 3 teams, the Brewers are always a threat to the Pirates, for reasons I still can't quite explain.

As for the game itself, James McDonald pitched masterfully for his 6 innings, allowing no runs and just 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out a career-tying 8 batters. Unfortunately, with the Pirates only able to manage 2 runs themselves, an uncharacteristic collapse by Chris Resop, and some questionable defense, the Pirates seemed poised to lose this game and the series, leaving most of Pittsburgh to start hoping and praying that Steelers training camp was not far away. But then Ryan Doumit came up to bat.

I've been hard on Doumit in the past, I admit. He always seemed like a lazy player, doing the bare minimum and nothing more. Maybe what I had interpreted as laziness was actually a sort of stoic attitude. Listen to a Neil Walker interview today, he was impressed by Doumit's ability to not get too excited about his 8th inning 3-run homer, instead realizing there was still half an inning or more yet to be played if the Pirates were going to win. It made me realize that it was not laziness at all, but more a sense that he had been there before. For Ryan Doumit, this was one game out of 162. The team and him still have a long way to go to achieve their ultimate goal of winning in October. I believe Clint Hurdle would call it a "championship mentality."

VFPH's 3 Stars of the Game

Trying something new today. I've always been a fan of the 3 stars in hockey as a way of quickly seeing the biggest contributers to a game, so I thought I'd try it for baseball too. Here we go:
  1. PIT Ryan Doumit, C: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  2. PIT James McDonald, SP: 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 8 K
  3. HOU J.A. Happ, SP: 2 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K

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