There were so many mistakes made by the Pirates last night that in the end, cost them the game.
Zach Duke gave up a Solo Homerun to Carlos Gonzalez in the first inning.
Jose Tabata was picked off at first base.
Chan Ho Park came into the seventh inning for his Pirates debut. He gave up two hits, threw a wild pitch, and the Rockies scored the go-ahead run.
“I just feel bad about the two hits with two outs,” Park said afterward. “I had tough luck.”
“I think if he had to do [that] over, he’d maybe throw something offspeed there,” manager John Russell said. “It was a mistake. I know he didn’t want to throw the ball where he did, but he’s got a lot of weapons and once he gets going again, I think he’s really going to help us.”
There was an error by Garrett Jones when he made the throw to second base.
Pedro Alvarez missed the tag at third base, McCutchen made a beautiful throw from the outfield.
Hanrahan gave up two runs and three hits in the ninth inning.
But to be fair, there were some good moments on the night.
Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run Homerun to tie the game at three in the sixth. When he connects with the ball, it is just tourched. He’s so exciting to watch, and his homeruns give me chills. He is electric.
The Crowd of 30,711 went crazy. We were all jumping up and down, high fiving and just chanting “PEDRO” “PEDRO”.
“We’re down, 3-0, it’s the sixth inning, we’re getting outhit by 10-1, and everything just feels kind of … I don’t know, flat” Meek said. “And then, boom. Just like that, the momentum’s ours. There’s a spark in our step.”"Awesome,” starter Zach Duke said of the sudden atmosphere.
“It felt great, to tie a game like that,” shortstop Ronny Cedeno said.
“It was exciting,” manager John Russell said. “Got us right back in the game. We’re being outhit pretty substantially, and it felt like we came out of nowhere right there to tie it.”
“With some of the guys in our lineup right now –Garrett, Tabata, Andrew McCutchen, Neil, Pedro — being young right now, these are some of the things you’re starting to see,” Russell said. “Anything can happen at any time.”
Of the 79 home runs this year, five have been three-run homers, two others grand slams. 53 have been solo-homeruns.
There were some softly hit balls that found holes again,” Duke said. “The main thing is I didn’t walk anybody, and I was able to limit the damage.”
“He did a good job just giving up the runs he gave up,” Russell said. “You’ve got to give Zach some credit for battling. He was on the ropes a lot, and he gave up a lot of hits, but found a way to give up only three runs.”
Duke stranded six runners in his final four innings. He went six innings, gave up 10 hits, three runs, struck out five.
Hammel (WP 8-6) 6IP, 3H, 3ER, 2K, 2BB
Street picked up his seventh save.
It was also Andrew McCutchen Bobble head night at PNC Park.
Other News & Notes:
- Duke and Maholm are tied for most winingest pitcher at PNC park at 28.
- Since May 31, Neil Walker is batting .308 (Leads all 2B in the majors)
- The Pirates have used 44 players this season.
- Chase D’Arnaud has a nine game hitting streak. 17 for 35 (.486 AVG) with three doubles, five RBI, and five SB. He also leads the team with 71 R, 29 doubles and six triples.
- The Buccos are 10-49 when opponent scores first.
- 12-57 when they score four runs or less.
- 3-64 when trailing after eight innings.
- Jose Tabata has 32 hits since the All-Star Break, the second most in the NL.
- In yesterday’s Rehab game two, Ryan Doumit went 2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2RBI
- Jeff Locke 5IP, 8H, 6ER, 4K, 3BB (L 1-1)
- Zack Dodson 5Ip, 0H, 0ER, 5K, 1BB (W 2-2)
- After the loss, the Pirates are now just two games behind the Orioles for the worst record in MLB.
- Brad Lincoln 3IP, 9ER, 9H, 2BB, 5K (L, ERA 4.17)
- The Pirates optioned Justin Thomas to Triple-A to clear space for Chan Ho Park on the 25 man roster.
James McDonald was brillant in his Pirates Debut.
I was blown away by his performance yesterday at the game. I don’t want to get overly excited and give him very high expectations, but he did pitch one of the better games I’ve seen all season. J-Mac struck out the side in the first inning. He continued to be a strike out machine, punching out six of the first seven batters he faced. James matched the Pirates’ individual season-high with eight strikeouts over six innings in his Pittsburgh debut. (Ohlendorf struck out eight on July 2 against the Phillies and Morton did the same against the Dodgers on April 30.)
McDonald pitched six strong shutout innings, giving up four hits, striking out eight, walked just one. He threw 89 pitches. J-Mac’s fastball was hitting 95-96 on the gun and his Change was 81-82.
“Pretty good, wasn’t it?” Pirates manager John Russell quipped.
McDonald threw two third-strike curveballs, two third-strike fastballs and four third-strike changeups.
“I did not expect my changeup to be that good,” McDonald said. “It was real good today. I felt like I could throw it at any time. I wasn’t afraid to throw it.”
Good doesn’t exactly describe his change up last night, I’d say it was nasty.
J-Mac was the first Pirates starter to allow no runs and strike out at least eight batters in team debut since 1907. (Nick Maddox)
Garrett Jones snapped his 0-for-20 streak by hitting a Solo Homerun over the Clemente Wall and it landed in the last row of the seats. If he would have hit it a little further, it would have left the ballpark.
Still in the second inning, Ronny Cedeno hit a two-run homerun to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.
“It was really good to get three runs early,” McDonald said. “The team swung the bats good, got me settled in. I felt like if I made a mistake, it wasn’t costing the game. We were relaxing a little bit.”
The entire lineup of buccos swung the bats well on the night. Everyone (except McDonald, who frankly, did more enough) had at least one hit.
McCutchen 1-3, BB, R
Walker 2-4, RBI, R
Jones 2-4, HR (15)
Alvarez 1-4, RBI
Milledge 1-4, R
Cedeno 1-3, HR (6) 2 RBI
The Bullpen did pretty well. Since the new additions they have been struggling as of late. (Everyone except Meek and Hanrahan)
Ledezma pitched a scoreless seventh, with two strikeouts.
Gallagher did give up a run after just 1/3 of an inning but Justin Thomas came in and finished off the eigth.
Resop made his Pirates debut in the ninth inning.
He pitched a scoreless inning, no hits, no walks, one strikeout.
“I said it numerous times on the field to some of these guys: They’re playing the game the right way. It’s noticeable,” Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said.
“Any fan watching can see the reason why the Pirates have beaten us. They’ve played real solid baseball.”
Francis drops to (4-4) on the season. He went 5.2 IP, gave up nine hits, five runs, and five strikeouts. J-Mac wins his Pirates Debut (1-1)
”He pitched a great game,” Russell said. “This is what I saw from him two years ago and he’s even better now. That’s why I’m so excited we were able to trade for him.”
Other News & Notes:
- Chan Ho Park (who was claimed off waivers from the Yankees)
Games/Starts 27/0 450/287
Innings 35-1 1,964.2
Record 2-1 122-96
ERA 5.60 4.37
WHIP 1.47 1.40
- Chris Resop (was claimed off waivers from the Braves)
He is 27 years old, 6’3″, 222 lbs. He was selected by the Marlins in the fourth round of the 2001 draft.
Resop is 3-3, with a 6.14 ERA, 1.78 WHIP in 58 games with FLA/LAA/ATL
- The Pirates pen’ has looked much different since the trade deadline.
July 30th: Current
RHP Gallagher RHP Gallagher
LHP Lopez RHP D. McCutchen
RHP Jackson LHP Thomas
RHP Donnelly LHP Ledezma
RHP Carrasco RHP Resop
RHP Meek RHP Meek
- RHP Chan Ho Park is expected to join the ball club today.
- James McDonald was the 11th different starting Pitcher for the Pirates this season.
- The Pirates are 17-1 when scoring six or more runs this season (3rd in MLB)
- The Rockies have now been outscored 37-14 during their seven game road loosing streak.
- The Cardinals are looking at Andy LaRoche as a possible trade target, assuming he clears waivers. Third baseman David Freese is out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
- SS Brian Bixler was demoted to Double-A Altoona. He hit .171 with one RBI in 11 games with Indy.
- Russell said both McCutchen and Jose Tabata will be closely monitored in the final few weeks of the season and could get extra time off. McCutchen has been dinged by injuries. Tabata, who’ll turn 22 next week, is on track for career highs in games and at-bats. “We don’t want to run them into the ground,” Russell said -TRIBLIVE
- Ryan Doumit is expected to come off the DL on Saturday, not today. In his first two rehab games he went 0-for-8 with two strikeouts.
“The first day down there was a little rough,” Huntington said. “It’s tough for any player to sit for 15 days and come back to the Major League level. At this point, we’re expecting today and tomorrow out of Ryan, and look to activate him on Saturday.”
- JR has not determined the roles of newly acquired Resop and Park.
“It’s just trying to bridge that gap between our starter and getting to the guys at the back end,” Russell said. “We still feel like the guys we have with [Sean] Gallagher, [Wil] Ledezma, that they’re going to be able to get into [the later innings]. But throwing them right into that role, and [Daniel] McCutchen as well, I think these guys will help solidify that a little bit.”
- Most Strikeouts in a Pirates Debut (since 1952):
1955- Dick Hall -11
1992- Tim Wakefield -10
1983 Jose Deleon -9
2005- Zach Duke -9
2010- James McDonald -8
1984- Bob Walk -8
- The Pirates are 22-13 all-time at home against the Rockies.
- The Pirates are 31-1 when leading after eight innings.
- The Pirates are 26-14 when scoring four or more runs.
A few pictures of the Rockies BP:
Today’s Pitching Matchup:
RHP Jason Hammel (7-6, 4.37 ERA)
RHP Zach Duke (5-10, 5.36 ERA)
Today’s Pitching Matchup:
Jeff Francis (4-3, 4.44 ERA)
James McDonald (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Francis was great in his last outing on July 30 with a 17-2 win against the Cubs. He needed just 88 pitches through six innings, allowing two runs. In his last three starts, Francis is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA with 18 strikeouts.
The Pirates will send James McDonald to the mound. He is making his Bucco debut. This season for the Dodgers he only pitched in four games and was primarily used as a reliver. In Triple-A as a starter he was 6-1 with a 4.44 ERA.
Career Stats: He is 26-23 with a 3.40 ERA in 93 minor league appearances. In 53 appearances with the Dodgers, five of them starts, he went 5-6 with a 4.11 ERA, Struck out 63 batters in 76 2/3 innings, with 40 walks and .262 opponents’ batting average.
“We like James’ three-pitch mix with a chance to develop his slider,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “His fastball has average to above-average velocity with downhill plane. His curveball has shown sharpness to the break. He has shown feel for his changeup with solid deception. He has shown the ability to throw all three pitches for strikes. The slider has flashed quality at times and, at other times, has been more of a slurve.”
McDonald has been actually better as a reliever than a starter over his career. So why would he rather start?
“Because I know I can do it,” McDonald replied. “It’s just a matter of getting out there, day in, day out, learning major league hitters. I looked back at film of my starts from last year, and I’d ask myself, ‘Why did I throw him that pitch when I didn’t have to show that to him?
“My confidence was down at the beginning of last year, but I came back and did really well,” McDonald said. “Confidence is the one thing nobody can take from you.”‘
“Get back into a starting role, that’s the kind of thing you think about. You think how you’re going to get him out the second and third time.”
Other News and Notes:
- Joel Hanrahan leads the Pirates with 67 strikeouts. The Last time a reliever led the team with strike outs was in 2004, BJ Ryan for the Orioles. The last Pirate to do so was Goose Gossage in 1977.
- Pirates are 11-20 (15th in NL) in day games.
- Exicardo Cayonez (GCL) this season: .319 AVG, 9 2B, 18 RBI, 21 R, 7 SB
- The Rockies, who are in Pittsburgh for a four game series are hot at home, hitting .301. On the road they are batting just .229.
- Batting Stance guy does Pedro Alvarez! Check it out here
- Rockies’ Dexter Folwer tweeted this afternoon:
@DFowler24: Well in beautiful Pittsburgh , trying to get off to a good start on this road trip!! Hopefully I’m in there today, getting anxious!
Pirates president Frank Coonelly participated in his monthly live online chat with Pirates fans on Wednesday. During the chat, Coonelly answered questions about the makeup of the current roster, possible September call-ups, the recent trading deadline deals and more. The complete chat transcript follows.
Coonelly: Hello everyone, and thanks for joining me today while we take on the Reds at PNC Park. Let’s get started.
timaz78:: Mr. Coonelly, do you see Alex Presley and Jim Negrych as probable September call-ups?
Coonelly: Alex Presley has had an impressive season beginning with Altoona and continuing with an impressive start in Indy. Jimmy Negrych has also returned this year from the injury he sustained in Altoona last year to put together a strong season. Neither Alex or Jimmy are on the 40-man roster, but that would not preclude a September call-up. Brandon Moss has really come on over the last several months and is certainly a candidate for a September call-up. Neal and Kyle Stark and their staffs have not yet, however, made any decisions in terms of September call-ups.
kevschwarz: Will there be any trades or signings for pitchers this year or next?
Coonelly: As I have mentioned in probably each of the last two chats, we are very encouraged by the development of the pitching prospects in our system , and particularly those currently leading Altoona to one of the most impressive seasons in the Minor Leagues, those players include: Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Jeff Locke and Jared Hughes. Nevertheless, we will aggressively evaluate outside options for both the starting rotation and the bullpen in the trade and free agent markets this offseason.
SnakeWesker: Could we see John Bowker in the big leagues this year? What about Brandon Moss?
Coonelly: SnakeWesker, thanks for mentioning Bowker. As I indicated in a previous answer, Brandon Moss has earned the right to be considered for a call-up at some point this season. John Bowker, who we acquired from San Francisco, is another player with Major League experience who we will get to know and will be considered for a call-up at the appropriate time. Both Bowker and Moss are experienced lefthanded bats that we think have a chance to help us.
ahouser95: What is the progress made with signing the two recent pitchers in the draft, Taillon and Allie, along with Heredia?
Coonelly: We have had positive dialogue with both Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie and remain confident that we will be able to sign both players. As the August 16 signing deadline is now less than two weeks away, we look forward to those discussions picking up and reaching resolution with both players and bringing in two quality right-handed power pitchers into the system. Luis Heredia is a young pitcher who we have followed but who is not yet eligible to sign a contract.
18nalax: What is the future of Chris Snyder/Ryan Doumit? Snyder will be making $5.5 million next year, so will management be looking to pay that?
Coonelly: We acquired Chris Snyder to bolster our catching for the remainder of this year and next year and did so understanding his contract terms. Ryan Doumit is a dangerous offensive bat who John Russell will continue to utilize as a catcher and look to get him in the lineup at other positions as well. Using Ryan in the outfield will allow JR to give Lastings Milledge, Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen a day off as he sees fit.
pgharsteve: Are you proud (effort, wins-losses, progress, depth, etc.) of the team, especially the big league team?
Coonelly: pgharsteve, as I have said on several occasions this year, we are extremely disappointed by the team’s record. We expected much better and our fans deserve much better. I do believe, however, that the players and JR and his staff have worked extremely hard to get the club moving in the right direction. There have been no signs of a lack of effort or a lack of caring. Our fans need only look in the dugout during last night’s game as Evan Meek and Hanrahan maintained the lead in a tight game that our players cared deeply about winning every game that we play, regardless of our record. Our focus is the continued development of this young core and finishing this season with a strong push. Individual players are fighting hard to establish starting roles with the club and the club as a whole is working to develop a winning mentality and those efforts will continue to drive us through the end of the season.
timaz78: Mr. Coonelly, I haven’t seen Yhonthan Barrios’ name in any stat lines yet, however on the MILB site he is listed as being assigned to West Virginia. What is his status?
Coonelly: timaz78, Barrios is currently on the disabled list recovering from surgery to remove the hook of the hamate. It is uncertain whether he will be able to return this season, but we expect that he will fully recover and be ready for Instructional League. This is the same surgery that Starling Marte and Pedro Alvarez have had and is relatively minor as surgeries go.
Coonelly: One more for today…
jm_bucsfan: Are you happy with the trading deadline deals?
Coonelly: We are pleased with what Neal and his staff were able to accomplish at the deadline. They were able to convert a group of free agent signings from this past offseason into six players over whom we have control for multiple years, some of whom are helping the Major League club now and others who are continuing to build the depth of talent in our organization.
Coonelly: Thanks again everyone for joining me. Going to get back to the game, and hope we can plate a few for the W today. I will see you all again next month.
Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh were the first Indian born athletes to sign professional baseball contracts outside their country. They competed in an Indian reality TV show called the “million dollar arm” that drew about 30,000 contestants. The show sought to find athletes who could throw strikes at 85 mph or faster.
Neither one had picked up a baseball before the contest. Singh was the winner of the contest and Patel was the first runner-up.
Both Patel, 21 and Singh, 20 are in their second season playing for the Pirates’ Gulf Coast League. Though they are far away from the majors, the story of their lives and journey are being turned into a Motion Picture by Sony.
“I talked to the movie writer a couple of weeks ago, “Singh said. “He told me he’s almost finished writing the movie. The movie is coming out next year. We’ll see whos playing us.”
“I hope some good American actor plays me, “Singh says. “You know, someone like ‘Rambo.’ That’s the guy (Sylvester Stallone) I want.”
“I need a short guy. A guy like Tom Cruise. That would be perfect,” Said Patel.
“The bar is set really high, but there are unique elements to their story that are very compelling, ” said Ciardi of Mayhem Pictures, which produced “Miracle,” “Invincible,” and “The Rookie.”
Left Hander, Singh is 1-0 this season with a 2.38 ERA with 11 hits, three runs, three walks, and 12 strikeouts in 11.1 innings pitched.
Right Hander, Patel has a 3.38 ERA in 5.1 innings pitched, giving up eight hits, two runs, one walk and six strikeouts this season.
“Both of them are great human beings, ” said Bradenton GCL Manager and former major-league catcher Tom Prince. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked. They’re learning the game. This year, you can start to see the talent come out a little bit more. They’re used to us now. They’re used to going about their business very professionally.”
“We learn English here watching TV, like Baseball Tonight,” Singh said.
But that’s not the only reason they watch ESPN and Baseball tonight.
“We watch Baseball Tonight every day,” Singh said. “That’s one of the ways we learn. Now everything is easier. When a MLB game in on, we watch it. We learn from it. Then, we keep learning when we play everyday.”
You can follow their journey on their blog “Million Dollar Arm”
The game didn’t end last night until after midnight (thanks to the rain delay) I headed back to the ballpark this morning for the final game of the Reds series. I didn’t get a chance to recap the games so I’m just going to highlight parts of them along with news and notes.
The Pirates lost this afternoon to the Reds, 9-4.
McCutchen lead off the game with a Solo-Home Run off Queto. (The only run he allowed, just three hits in six innings pitched with six strikeouts.)
Clement came in to pinch hit in the seventh and hit a two-run homerun. Since being recalled from Triple-A Indy he is 3-for-5 with two Home Runs.
Pedro Alvarez hit his eighth homerun of the season in the ninth inning and it was smoked. When Pedro connects, it is hit so hard. If you have seen one in person you know exactly what I mean.
Ledezma and Jackson were horrific in the game today. Combined they pitched just one inning but gave up four hits, and five runs and a walk.
“[It was a] relatively close game, and next thing you know, it gets out of hand,” manager John Russell said. “We’re going to have to find a way to stop that. We’ve got to find guys that fit in to those roles later. The seventh can be a tough inning because you can be in the meat of the lineup. We’re going to have to find a way to get through that.”
Karstens picked up his seventh loss of the season. His ERA is now at 4.47
Other News & Notes:
- Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has been named a preliminary winner of the Heart and Hustle Award, which is handed out by Major League Baseball’s Players Alumni Association. Since 2005, the award is annually presented to an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.
McCutchen was recognized as his team’s recipient prior to Tuesday’s game against the Reds.
There are 30 preliminary winners, one from each club, for the award. An overall winner will be determined through votes from active players and alumni and will be announced at the Legends for Youth Dinner on Nov. 5 in New York.
The 2009 Heart and Hustle Award was given to St. Louis’ Albert Pujols. David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006 and 2007) and Grady Sizemore (2008) round out the list of past winners.
Steve Pearce underwent surgery on his left knee today. Yesterday Pearce talked about his season cut short and the surgery:
“I’m not actually worried about the effects,” Pearce said over the phone. “Actually, I think this can be a great thing for my career. I can’t be the player I want to be with this bum knee. I think I can really benefit by getting this taken care of.”
“When I come back after this, I’m going to be a whole new player, a better player,” Pearce said. “Especially with this new approach that I’ve had this year to be more patient, now I’ll also be able to explode on balls like I have in the past.
“I will be 100 percent in Spring Training and ready to fight for a job.”
- The Pirates claimed claimed right-hander Chris Resop and Chan Ho Park off waivers on Wed.
Resop, With Triple-A Gwinnett, went 6-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 15 starts.
“Adding Resop should help us,” manager John Russell said. “He’s been doing very well. He has shown some good numbers and hopefully he’ll be a guy who can come in and help us out.”
The Pirates will be the seventh different team that Park has played for. This season he appeared in 29 games for the Yankees allowing 22 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks in 35 1/3 innings.
Both Park and Resop will go into the pen. Resop is expected to be in Pittsburgh Thursday; Park will arrive on Friday.
- Steven Jackson was Designated for Assignment.
- Steve Pearce was moved to the 60-day Disabled List.
- Andy LaRoche and James McDonald spent years playing together in the Dodgers minor league system. Andy had a lot of good things to say about McDonald, who will make his Pirates debut starting on Thursday.
“I think to come to a park like this with the stuff that he’s got, let’s wait and see the results, but I think he’s got a good chance here,” LaRoche said, offering his own personal scouting report. “He’s got good stuff. He’s throws firm. He’s got a great curveball. He locates well. I always knew that he had good stuff and would be a big league player.”
“I’m happy that they want me here,” McDonald said. “There trying to do things here by building with youth. They have a lot of good young players. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Manager John Russell said a lot of nice things about McDonald as well.
“I’ve been talking about this guy for a year and a half,” Russell said. “I saw this guy pitch last year and he was dominant against us. Live arm. Velocity. Good breaking ball, changeup. He’s got the arm to be a very good starting pitcher. I’m very excited about it.
“He’s a very talented pitcher. I was surprised when [general manager] Neal [Hunginton] called and told us we got him. It’s a guy that I kind of myself targeted. I’m glad we finally got him.”
- Mike Leake lost control of his fastball during Tuesday’s game in the second inning and hit Andrew McCutchen on the back of his neck. McCutchen fell to the ground and was eventually helped up by the medical staff and taken off the field. He was later diagnosed with a neck contusion.
“You never want to see a ball up around the head,” Bucs manager John Russell said. It’s a scary thing. I was concerned about Andrew.”
The Bucs continued to rally in that second inning, scoring six runs.
“You could tell he was shook up after he hit McCutchen,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “And it led to a big inning.”
“I’m not going to say I wasn’t thinking about it,” said Leake, “but I was trying not to.”
In the third inning when Leake came up to bat, Maholm hit him with a 1-0 fastball on the side of his knee. Home plate umpire then warned both benches.
Maholm declined comment on that pitch afterward, saying only: “Getting hit is one thing. Getting hit up there is a scary deal. It’s no fun to watch and you just hope and pray he’s OK.”
- Evan Meek picked up his first career base hit in just his second career at bat this season.
Meek also threw 50 pitches in the 1 2/3 innings he pitched. Evan faced seven batters and gave up two runs.
“Definitely throwing 50 pitches is a struggle,” Meek said. “You’re going to have outings like that. You’re not going to be as sharp as you can be every time. Thank God we had a little cushion there.”
- Joel Hanrahan picked up his first career save as a Bucco. (His last save was on May 24, 2009 while with the Nationals)
“[I was] a little nervous. I’m not going to lie,” Hanrahan said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been in that save situation, and for some reason, that ninth inning’s just a little bit different. I’ve never known why, but anytime you go out there for your first save of the year it’s a little bit different.”
“I put a lot of pressure on myself when I was in Washington,” he said. “A couple bad games here or there and I was trying to lower my ERA every time I went out there. Now, I just go out there with confidence in the role that I’m in now and believe in myself. It’s kind of the same thing you’ve got to do if you go into that role.”
- @Maholm28: Back to the park looking for a series win. Thanks for everyones support congrats to @hanrahan4457 for his 1st bucco save.
@Maholm28: Also hoping cutch isn’t too sore today we need him back out to set the tempo.
- I noticed this young kid at PNC Park on Tuesday wearing a ballcap with his ears tucked under, like Pedro Alvarez does. I thought it was strange because I’ve never seen anyone else wear their hat that way. I asked the boy why he tucks his ears in his cap and he said “I want to be just like Pedro when I grow up.” How adorable it that?
- Daniel McCutchen was moved to the bullpen a few days ago. (via @LangoschMLB)
On being asked to move to the ‘pen: “I’m good with it. I think I can maybe work some things out. I feel really close and maybe it will be an opportunity for me to get over the hump and pitch the way I want to pitch.”
On what areas of his game he is wanting to target first: “Probably consistency with my off-speed stuff and working ahead in the count. There have been a lot of things. Last year, the first half of the year was kind of up-and-down and then I really got on a roll. This year, I haven’t really gotten on a roll. I’m going to keep pressing through it and try to get on that roll.”
On the challenges of adapting to a new role: “I pitched out of the ‘pen in college. How relevant that is – that was my sophomore year – I don’t know. But I’ve been asking a lot of guys about their routine and what they do. They are going to help me with that. Hopefully it will be an easy transition.”
Ross Ohlendorf took the mound last night for the first time since getting hit on the side of his head from a combacker just five days earlier. Unfortunately, it was not a good night for Ross.
Ohlendorf lasted just five innings, gave up five hits, three runs, struck out four, walked four, plus a hit by pitch. He threw 104 pitches, 60 for strikes.
To be honest, Ohly is lucky the Reds only scored three runs off him. The first inning lasted just over 15 minutes and he walked the first two batters he faced. By the time the second inning came Ross had already threw 56 pitches.
In the third inning, Johnny Gomes hit the ball off the top of the Clemente wall, so close to being a homerun. Fortunately for Ohlendorf, Gomes thought the ball was gone and stood at the plate and admired it for a few seconds and jogged twoards first base. Once the ball hit off the wall, Jonny could only make it to second base.
The fifth inning was the only good inning from Ross, he only needed nine pitches to end the inning.
“I felt like I was going to pitch much better and then got out there and didn’t have very good command,” Ohlendorf said. “My arm felt great, but I was just throwing a lot of balls and throwing up in the zone.”
“I really want to finish strong, get on a roll like I did last year,” he said. “I feel like I’m definitely capable of it. There’s still a lot to play for to show that I deserve to be a part of the rotation next year.”
The Pen’ did a good job on the night. Ledezma pitched two scoreless, hitless innings, striking out one. Justin Thomas pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Pirates. The only mistake came in the eight inning with Hanrahan on the mound. He gave up a hit to Heisey which went over McCutchen’s head when he tried to slide and make the catch. It trickled into the North Side Notch. No Error on Cutch, it was rulled an inside-the-park Home Run, the first by an opponent in PNC Park History.
The Reds Rookie, Travis Wood allowed just two hits through seven innings and struck out four. (The two hits were, Walker in the first; Milledge in the fifth)
The biggest thing about him was he kept the ball down,” Russell said of Wood, who took a perfect game into the ninth against the Phillies last month. “He elevated some to get some guys to chase. He was very effective.”
I try to work quick with the fastball and let pitches work off that,” Wood said. “I was able to throw strikes to both sides of the plate and get them off balance and make some good pitches”
Chris Synder made his Pirates debut against the Reds. He went 0-for-3. I did manage to take some pictures of him.
Ohlendorf, Synder and Pitching Coach Kerrigan after the bullpen warm-up.
Synder’s first at bat as a Bucco.
I just happened to be walking by the ballpark when Chris Synder was dropped off. Apparently, he had just flown into Pittsburgh. I kind of felt like a paparazzi snapping his photo. I couldn’t get my camera out in time to snap a good one.
Tomorrow, Steve Pearce will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Not only will he be out the rest of this season, but it also might affect his ability to compete for a Roster spot in Spring Training in 2011.
Pearce had a plasma rich platelet injection in July in hopes that he would not require the knee surgery. Since then he still has felt pain in his knee and elected to have the surgery this week.
Pearce will be out of Minor League options next season. He played in 15 games for the Pirates this year before going on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. While he was rehabbing his right ankle, he was shut down with knee pain. Pearce was 8-for-29, .276 AVG, two doubles, one triple, and five RBI this season.
Other News & Notes:
- The Pirates have traded OF Brandon Jones to the Tigers for a player to be named later. Jones has been assigned to Detroit’s Double-A Erie.
- Cole White named New York Penn League Hitter of the Week. A Spikes player has now earned player of the week honors four straight weeks.
- Pitchers have fared best when Kratz is behind the plate (4.37) and worst with Jaramillo back there (5.70). The ERA is 4.91 with Doumit. (Via @LangoschMLB)
- The Pirates have scored just two runs in the last four games.
- Pirates have now been shutout 11 times this season.
- Pedro Alvarez has just 2 hits in his last 28 at-bats. (0.71 AVG)
Some Batting Pratice photos of the Reds:
Today’s Pitching Matchup: (CIN @ PIT 9/3)
Mike Leake (7-2, 3.57 ERA)
Paul Maholm (6-9, 4.52 ERA)
Leake is pitching on eight days’ rest after the Reds skipped his turn in an effort to limit his innings total in his rookie season. In his last three starts he is 1-1 with a 4.57 ERA and nine strikeouts in 19.2 IP.
Maholm allowed a season-worst eight earned runs and 11 hits in the most recent outing of an up-and-down stretch. The lefty threw a season-high 120 pitches in just 5 1/3 innings and has now not finished six innings in three of his last seven starts.
I’m excited to be back at the Ballpark today. I’ll be sure to get some pictures of newly acquired Buccos; McDonald and Synder.
Today’s Pitching Matchup (CIN @ PIT 09/02/10)
Ross Ohlendorf (1-8, 4.35 ERA)
Travis Wood (1-1, 2.87 ERA)
Ohlendorf didn’t make it through the first inning in his last start after being struck on the side of the head with a comebacker. He suffered a bad contusion and abrasion.
“Considering I got hit in the head, I feel like I am really lucky with where it hit me,” he said. “I feel fine. I guess I got lucky.”
Wood has never faced the Pirates before, the Rookie has only started six games in the bigs. On the road this season he is 1-0 with a 3.13 ERA and an .198 OPP AVG.
- The Pirates have a record of 9-3 against the Cubs — and 12-28 against the other four NL Central teams this season.
- Chris Snyder and (RHP) James McDonald are expected to join the Pirates today for the seven game homestand. The Pirates will have to make a corresponding roster move. (Jason Jaramillo is expected to be sent down to AAA-Indy.)
- Neal Huntington said on Sunday during his radio show that he isn’t ruling out making some veteran bullpen additions to compensate for all the recent losses. The Bucs traded three key veteran Carrasco) and released Donnelly.
“We are a little bit concerned that we’re going to through some young, inexperienced pitchers into situations they’re not ready to handle,” Huntington said. “We may explore some options outside the organization to bring in a guy or two who has some experience back there. Or we might just go with the guys that we have to see if they can show us if they can be a part this year and beyond.”
Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek are the only two members of the pen that were here at the beginning of the season. They will share the eighth- and ninth-inning duties.
“We need our starters to get us deeper into the games,” Huntington said. “We’re going to need to somehow take those high-leverage outs in the sixth and seventh inning.
Other News & Notes:
- Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies on Saturday hit a Walk-off HR and a Cycle in the same game. He was only the fifth person in ML History to do so.
COL – C. Gonzalez (SAT) vs CHC
BOS – D. Evans (1984) vs SEA
KC – G. Brett (1979) vs BAL
MIN – C. Tovar (1972) vs TEX
STL – K. Boyer (1961) vs CHC
- Ryan Howard left Nationals Park on Sunday on crutches. He sprained his left ankle trying to get back to second base. Charlie Manuel said he doesn’t think he will be placed on the 15-day DL, although he can’t be certain until the swelling subsides. The X-Rays were negative.
It hurts,” Howard said. “Right now it’s just swollen. It’s tight. Other than that, it’s not too, too bad.”
- Corey Hart and the Brewers make a three year commitment.
“The Brewers are very excited to have Corey signed for the next three years,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement issued by the club. “He is one of our drafted and developed players and with his two-time All-Star performances, Corey deserves this contract that will provide his family security. We appreciate his wanting to remain a Brewer and a part of the Milwaukee community.”
- Most comeback wins this season:
Yankees – 34
Reds – 32
Braves – 30
Rays – 29
Red Sox – 29
Royals – 29
- Rockies Dexter Fowler got injured yesterday while making a really specatacular catch. You can watch the play here. He will have precautionary X-rays and possibly an MRI on his injured left side during the Rockies’ off-day, today.
“He’s got some abrasion,” Dugger said. “It scraped him. The wall pinched him a little bit, got the wind knocked out of him. It was a fabulous catch.”
“It all depends on how sore he is in the morning,” Dugger said on possibly losing him to the disabled list. “With rib injuries, there’s a good chance. We don’t want him to be down 4-5 days, but he if comes back and shows a good size contusion, he’s a DL candidate, for sure.”
Fowler tweeted last night to the fans:
@DFowler24: Hey everyone, home laying down…Ribs are really sore gonna get a MRI tomorrow…Thanks for your prayers and support! Better be #1 on SC!
Follow me on twitter: @kristpie
One inning, that’s all it took for Zach Duke’s outing to go from good to ugly. Duke was dealing through the first four innings. Battling arguably one of the NL’s best starting pitchers, Adam Wainwright. Duke was perfect for two innings and gave up his first hit in the third inning to Brendan Ryan.
The fifth was not pretty for Duke. Nine men came to the plate and five runs scored, including a two-run Home Run to Albert Pujols. (Pujols career against the pirates: .370 AVG, 41 HR, 123RBI in 147 games)
“I feel like I made one mistake in the inning and that was the home run to Pujols,” Duke said. “But other than that — two lob-wedge shots over the shortstop, a ground ball, perfect bunt. There’s not much I can do.”
Duke was done after five innings, giving up seven hits, six runs, one walk and one strikeout.
Obviously, the numbers don’t match up as well as I feel like I pitched,” Duke added. “It’s tough. I’m still going to take the positives from this outing and keep building on it.”
This seems like a trend for the Pirates. Does it not? The Starter pitching brillantly, then having one really bad inning that they can’t get out of? It seems to have occured quite often this season.
As if the game couldn’t get any worse, in came Steven Jackson for relief in the ninth. I hate to say it, but he is just not good. At all. He has been up in down over the years and his appearences just seem to get worse.
The ninth inning was not pretty at all. The first pitch he threw to Matt Holliday was a Solo Home Run. Nine more men came to the plate, three more runs scored.
The Pitching wasn’t the only culprit on the night. The Pirates had plenty of oppurtunities to score runs and they didn’t.
1st inning; Cutch and Tabata were left on base
5th inning; Cutch and JJ were left on base
8th inning; Tabata and Walker were left on base
I’m sure there were more scenarios on the night, those were just a few that I remember.
Can you really blame the Pirates, though honestly? They were facing the Cardinals. A really, really, really good team. There is a reason why they have a 23 game lead on them in the NL C.
Wainwright went seven innings, six hits, one run, five strike outs, zero walks. He improves to 15-6 on the season, 11-0 at home and lowered his ERA to just 2.19.
On to some positive notes. Jeff Clement is proving that doesn’t belong in Triple-A. In his two PH at bats, he has hit a HR and a Single. I’m glad to see he worked on some things in Indy. I hope he gets another chance to prove himself.
The Pirates have faced some pretty tough arms on this road trip. Jimenez, Wainwright and Carpenter. It hasn’t seemed to affect Jose Tabata who extended his hit streak to 12 games today.
I’m not surprised,” Tabata said of his string of success. “I trust myself.”
“He’s facing some pretty good pitching, too,” Russell said. “He’s a tough out when he has two strikes as well. That’s a good sign. He’s starting to really show some maturity in that area. He’s turning into a pretty tough out.”
- On Pirates Pre-Game Tim Neverett interviewed Jeff Clement, discussing what he has been working on in AAA and how the ump wouldn’t walk him even though he got hit by a pitch. And more.
Tim Neverett: “Jeff, It’s got to feel good to get back to the big leagues.I know you’ve worked very hard in Triple-A to get back here. Numbers were good there and those adjustments seem to pay off already.”
Jeff Clement: “Yeah, Obviously It’s just been one at bat but it went pretty well. Hopefully I”ll be able to build off of that and continue the last couple months, have some production and help the team win games.”
TN: “Let’s go back to the at bat a little bit. What did you see? It was a two strike pitch and frankly, you crushed it. You just hammered it deep to right center. What did you see? What were you expecting before he threw it and what did you see when he threw it?”
JC: “Well, he was throwing really hard. And I got up there and I swung at the first pitch. Swung right out of his hand, it was stupid. I was just expecting, you know, you got to be ready and after sitting for a whole game and just getting some swings off the tee and everything you dont know if your really game ready coming off the bench. I probally swung too soon and he had quite a bit of movement on his fastball. I thought, ”How do you throw 97 and have that much movement?” So, I swung through that one and he threw me a couple off speed pitches. Actually, the slider hit me on the back foot and just nicked my toe. And I know Tim McCelland, he’s from Iowa as well and I turned and I said “You probally wouldn’t believe me if that hit me on the back toe” And he said, “I believe you but I’m not sending you down to first base right now.” He’s like, “You want to hit anyway.” And i said “Yeah your right”. So, I swung through the next pitch and then he threw me one out over the plate and I was able to barrel up.”
TN: “Guys from Iowa don’t tell lies, do they?”
JC: [laughs] “No. He believed me obviously. It’s that midwest integrity that we have going. Like he said, he wasn’t going to send me to first and I didn’t blame him.”
TN: “A little better for you, the way it turned out. Again, it gave the team a little bit of a boost at that point in time in the game when you really needed one. It seemed like the Cardinals just kind of nickled and dimed, run here, run there. Then they opened it up in the eighth.”
JC: “Yeah, That’s why they are in first place. They know how to win games and they know how to string at bats together. I mean, I thought McCutchen threw the ball extremely well. He battled and gave us a chance. They just didn’t give us any easy outs. He made some great pitches that they took and then they fouled off some other tough pitches. You got to give them credit, that’s why they are a great team. But I thought McCutchen battled well and gave us a chance.”
TN: “Going down to Triple-A is never an easy thing when you’ve been in the big leagues but it gave you an oppurtunity to really work on your game. What are some of the specific adjustments you had to make in your swing? I think you told me yesterday, you were feeling a little mechanical the first time here and you changed that.”
JC: “Yeah, I think it was good to just go down there where it’s a little more stress free and get a chance to get at bats everyday. I think that’s a big deal. You’ve got to have rhythm and timing to hit and I don’t feel like I had that when I was here and it just progressively got worse actually in the time that I was here. I was obviously dissapointed to be sent down but it was a blessing in disguise. Just the chance to play everyday and continue to work on the things that I needed to, to be productive at this level. There are a few mechanical things that I changed, but not really much to do with mechanics but more to do with just timing and timing and takes care of a lot of different problems with your swing, that’s for sure.”
TN: “When you went to spring training you were at first base. I know you’ve worked defensively, you even had a little time catching at Triple-A. You went back behind the plate and you’ve seen some of the other guys that have come through Indianapolis this year. Walker, Tabata and Pedro Alvarez and Guys that are going to be here that looks like for the rest of the season. What do you make of this Pirates club moving forward, now that we’ve seen all the young guys, like yourself, moving in.”
JC: “Those three names that you mentioned have done incredibly well here. Walker, has been putting productive at bats up, every single time he’s up there and Tabata. We all know what Pedro can do. I think it’s exciting to see how young the team is and that they can compete at this level and it’s just a matter of wining. That’s it. That’s the name of the game. That’s why we’re here and learning how to win. It’s not easy, it’s the highest level you can play at but we’re all competitors and we’re all excited of the oppurtunity.”
Other News & Notes:
- The Pirates only scored two runs in 28 innings during the Cardinals three-game series.
- The Bucs have been heating up Mid Season:
WIN PCT .350 .360
AVG .241 .254
RUNS/GAME 3.5 4.3
HOME RUNS/GAME 0.7 0.9
XBH/GAME 2.5 2.9
ERA 5.02 4.60
OPP AVG .280 .271
ZACH DUKE 5.09 3.18
- The Month of July has been especially good for the young bucs:
Pedro Alvarez – .255 AVG, 7HR, 16 RBI, .521 SLG
Neil Walker – .319 AVG, 2 HR, 14 RBI, .462 SLG
Jose Tabata .248 AVG, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .426 SLG
Garrett Jones – .316 AVG, 1 HR, 11 RBI, .431 SLG
- Jose Tabata has a current 12 game hitting streak. In his last 19 games, .397/.440/.462 = .902 OPS
- Prospect Watch: Hitters:
Alex Presley .344 AVG, 10 HR, 63 RBI, 10 SB
Brandon Moss .267 AVG, 18 HR, 74 RBI, .482 SLG (Since June 1st: .291/.350/.582, 57 games, 14HR, 59RBI)
Pedro Ciriaco .259 AVG, 6 HR, 51 RBI, 14 SB
Andrew Lambo .271 AVG, 4 HR, 25 RBI, .420 SLG
Josh Harrison .300 AVG, 1 HR, 59 RBI, 27 2B
- Prospect Watch: Pitchers:
Joe Martinez 5-3, 3.32 ERA
Rudy Owens 8-6, 2.92 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
Justin Wilson 8-6, 3.06 ERA, .220 OPP AVG
Bryan Morris 7-4, 2.83 ERA, 103K/30BB
Jeff Locke 10-3, 3.21 ERA, 105K/18BB
- Ryan Doumit will leave on tomorow to join Triple-A Indy for a rehab assignment. He is eligible to come off the DL Friday.
- Some excerpts from GM Neal Huntington on his weekly radio show -BucsBits
- Charlie Morton tonight for AAA-Indy 6IP 2R 0ER 3H 2K 6BB (ND)
Ex Bucco Closer, Octavio Dotel in his Blue, alongside his other two new teamates, Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot.
I had just a few things I wanted to post about before the Pirates game this afternoon.
- Now that the Trade Deadline is over, and I’ve had time to read about some of the new guys that we got, I must say Huntington did a very great job. Over the past few years management has given the lineup a house cleaning (similar to the Dbacks and Astros this year) and left fans upset. Talent aside, after watching players year after year you start to love them even if they are hitting below the Mendoza line. Never will you hear a bad thing come out my mouth about Huntington though. What he has done since he took over in 2007 has been unbelieveable and the Pirates are FINALLY on the right track. As sad as it is to see certain players go, its all for the better of the orgainzation and for the team to see winning again.
I’m just glad I didn’t have to use this picture, literally this year.
As sad I was to see Dotel, Lopez and Carrasco go, we really got some great talented guys back in return for the veteran guys. I’m excited about James McDonald and John Bowker. I used to live in Los Angeles, so I was pretty familiar with these two from watching the NL West so often.
McDonald, once stretched back into a starter has the potential to be a pretty good 4th or 5th guy for the Pirates.
Bowker has a lot of power and can play both first and the outfield. In 2008, with the Giants he hit .255 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs in 11 games. This year in AAA he was hitting .310 with 14 homers and 36 RBIs in 51 games. A nice left handed power bat is exactly what the Pirates need, and he could be the guy to do it.
“It’s a good bat that we wanted to add to the system,” Huntington said. “Brandon Moss has swung the bat very well, and we’ve added another quality left-handed-hitting outfielder that could fit on the club as an extra outfielder. But we also have scouting reports not too long ago that have John Bowker as a potential everyday player.”
Andrew Lambo has been a very highly regarded prospect the last few years with the Dodgers. He did miss 50 games earlier this year for testing positive for drug abuse. But no need to worry, it was just marijuna. (it’s okay, I’ll let that one slide.)
It will be very weird at the ballpark tomorow, without some of those guys, but we all know they weren’t part of the Pirates future. I do wish them all the best of luck. Especially Dotel, he was always smiling and I just loved his personality. So for one last time.. TickTickTick
Here are a few of the Pirates reactions to the trades:
“It’s very disappointing,” Meek said. “Geez, it’s frustrating. Again, it’s the business side of the game. All you can do is wish them the best and hope that they adapt and are happy with where they’re at. I’m going to miss them very much.”
“We had pride in our bullpen,” added Hanrahan. “We were a close-knit group. We felt that we were one of the best ones in the league in doing our job. It’s tough to see all the guys leave, and you lose a lot of experience, but, obviously, Neal has an idea of what he’s doing. We’ve got to continue to go out there and get people out.”
@Maholm28 Glad to still be in the burgh and thanks everyone for ur support. Looking forward to turning this around.
@Maholm28: Always sad to see a few more great guys leave but good luck to each of them.
- The Pirates re-called LHP Justin Thomas.
Today’s Pitching Matchup (PIT @ STL) 09/01/10
Zach Duke 5-9, 5.09 ERA
Adam Wainwright 14-6, 2.23 ERA
Duke continues to look like a different pitcher since coming off the DL. In those last three starts, he has rediscovered his sinker and efficiency, and the confidence is building as a result. Duke said he feels as good now as he has all season.
Wainwright is coming off a rare iffy start, but he’s coming home, where he’s been dominant. Wainwright is 10-0 with a ridiculous 1.22 ERA at Busch Stadium. In his last five home starts, he’s pitched 35 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run.