Results tagged ‘ cardinals ’
Charlie Morton has talked openly about his confidence issues on the mound due to a rough season. On Wednesday night, Morton pitched a gem that was sure to boost his confidence (as well as the Pirates) as they defeated the Cardinals 11-6.
Charlie picked up his first win since May 5, allowing two runs on four hits and struck out five through six innings.
“It really clicked for him tonight,” manager John Russell said. “Everything was working for him. When he’s on, he’s very tough to hit. He put it all together tonight. This is a good one for him to build off.”
Added Jones: “To see Charlie pitch like the way he did, that’s what he’s capable of doing.”
Morton’s ERA dropped to 8.11 and even got praise by one of the Cardinals best hitters.
“He’s one of those guys that has better stuff than his ERA,” Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday said. “I think he did a pretty good job with locating his pitches. He’s got a good curveball to put you away, if you don’t [hit] a fastball early in the count.”
The Bucs bats came alive and put 11 runs on the board –the most runs they have scored in a single game in September.
“It’s a huge morale booster, and it just shows what we can do,” Garrett Jones said. “We’re playing good baseball as a team.”
With the 11-6 victory over the Cardinals, the Pirates won their fifth straight –something that have not done since August of 2009.
“We know we can’t control having the worst record anymore,” Ronny Cedeno said. “We can just play the best we can. We’ve played real good baseball these last five days. We’re fighting. We’re pulling everything together.”
Kyle Lohse was pulled after pitching three innings and allowing six runs. With the five run lead the Pirates had, Morton was able to comfortable on the mound and work well with Chris Snyder.
“[I'm] not dwelling on the negatives, and [I'm] building from the positives and building from the bad things that have happened,” Morton said. “Knowing that I can pitch better than I was, that’s leading me to pitch better.”
Jose Tabata’s triple scored McCutchen for the first run, Bowker hit his second home run as a Pirate and finished 3-for-3 with two RBI on the night.
Alvarez also did some damage against the Red Birds driving in four runs with a double and a homerun.
“[Alvarez is] that kind of player, Russell said. “He can do some damage quickly. He’s had his struggles, but he’s still grown and matured a lot this year.”
The Pirates starting lineup 1-8 (excluding Charlie Morton) all contributed to at least one hit.
“It was kind of our game from the first few innings on,” Russell said. “It was good to see the energy and the life that players had. They’re really battling right now, and want to finish strong.”
- The Pirates are on a four-game win streak –the first time since August 2009– and are 7-7 in their last 14 games. If the Bucs can extend the streak to five games it would be the first time since August 17-22 in 2009.
- Since the All-Star break Jose Tabata ranks second in the National League with hits (81) behind Carlos Gonzalez who has 84. Since Tabata made his Major League debut, he tied with Joey Votto for third in the National League in hits with 109.
- Since September 5th the Pirates starters have a 3.27 ERA in eight home games and 4.02 ERA in seven games on the road. During this span the Pirates have produced a 3.48 ERA –the fourth best in the National league and seventh in the Majors.
Kyle Lohse (4-7, 6.75 ERA)
Charlie Morton (1-11, 8.61 ERA)
Lohse is coming off back-to-back wins for the first time since 2009. He went five innings allowing three runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out four during his last outing against the Padres. Lohse is 5-0 with a 2.26 ERA lifetime against the Pirates.
Morton is making his 15th start of the season, his fourth since being re-called on September 28th. Progress has been slow for Charlie but things are looking better for the righty. His last start against the Mets he went five innings giving up two runs on five hits, walked four and struck out one. In Morton’s last two starts he is 0-0 with a 3.97 ERA.
Despite having a horrible season –the Bucs are one pace to lose more than 100 games, the first time to lose that many since 2001– the Pirates still remain positive. They even have a team goal in mind.
After defeating the Cardinals 5-2 on Tuesday, the Pirates home record is 37-39. The goal the Pirates players want to achieve? Finish the season .500 at home.
“It’s been a tough year. Our record is not good,” manager John Russell said. “But to have the opportunity to play .500 or above .500 at home after what we’ve gone through as a team and the struggles we’ve had on the road, it would be a tremendous feather in our team’s hat. I think it would be a great feeling heading into the offseason.”
With five games remaining at PNC Park the Bucs can only lose one more. The Pirates have not had a home winning record since 2006.
“It’s something we’re really focused on,” Russell said. “We’ve been playing pretty well as of late, and if we can make that push and finish up strong this homestand, it gives us something to reflect on.”
The Pirates roughed up the Red Birds and sent Jake Westbrook packing early in a 5-2 victory at PNC Park on Tuesday Evening.
Westbrook’s lone start against the Pirates on September 25th didn’t end well. He went six innings giving up four runs on six hits, walked one and struck out five. The Pirates beat the Cardinals 5-2.
During the first inning, Westbrook walked two batters, nine guys came to the plate and the Pirates scored three runs on four hits. 41 pitches were thrown by Westbrook in the first inning.
“It feels very good,” said Pedro Alvarez, who came through with a key first-inning single. “This is what we go out every day and try to do. It’s nice right now that we have everything going in sync — hitting, pitching, defense — and we just need to keep it going as long as we can.”
The Pirates put two more runs on the board in the fourth inning when Tabata hit a two-RBI triple.
“Right now, everything has changed,” Tabata said. “We have a four-game stretch of winning. Everybody plays like a team … together. Everything is good right now.”
“It feels very good,” said Pedro Alvarez, who came through with a key first-inning single. “This is what we go out every day and try to do. It’s nice right now that we have everything going in sync — hitting, pitching, defense — and we just need to keep it going as long as we can.”
Westbrook was done after pitching four innings giving up five runs on five hits, walked three and struck out two.
Paul Maholm pitched a beauty for the Pirates. He went seven innings giving up two runs on seven hits and struck out four. A much needed start for Maholm who has had a very rollercoaster season.
“To me, I’m a much better pitcher than I’ve showed,” said Maholm, whose last win had been on Aug. 3. “That’s the frustrating part, because a lot of people expect me to go deep in games, and obviously, I haven’t been. Tonight felt normal, and hopefully, I can finish my last two strong.”
With the 5-2 victory, the Pirates won four-straight for the first time this season. –the last time they won four straight was in August of 2009.
“It’s good that they’re not just looking forward to that last day in Florida to head off into the offseason,” manager John Russell said. “They’re still playing hard and still competing.”
Hanrahan picked up his 18th hold in the eighth inning and Meek got his fourth save by shutting down the Cardinals in the ninth.
“I think we have a lot of talent on this team,” Alvarez said. “All I’ve seen so far is a lot of effort here, and it usually pays off. I have an optimistic view on things here.”
- The Pirates are on a three-game winning streak. They have only won three straight five times this season and have not won four straight since last August.
- Tonight marks the 31st start of the season for Maholm, who has made at least 30 starts in the past three years straight. The last Pirate lefty to make at least 30 starts, three years in a row was Bob Veale who did so in seven straight seasons. (1964-70)
- The Pirates have homered at least once in nine of the last ten games played at PNC Park. They have hit 60 homeruns at home this season while allowing 63.
- With 13 games left in the season, six are against the Cardinals. They are 3-3 at home, 0-3 at Busch stadium.
- Andrew McCutchen has homered in back-to-back games, and has nine RBI in his last seven games going 14-for-32 (.333 AVG).
Jake Westbrook RHP (8-10, 4.22 ERA)
Paul Maholm LHP (7-15, 5.36 ERA)
Westbrook is 2-3 with a 3.26 ERA since being acquired by the Cardinals. He is coming off a dominant start against the Padres. Westbrook pitched eight shut-out innings, walked three and struck out three. In two starts this season against the Pirates he is 0-1 with a 3.21 ERA.
Maholm has lost six straight decisions and eight of his last nine. During that stretch he has posted a 8.01 ERA and has received two runs of support or less in on the mound his last nine times. Maholm was pulled after 3.2 innings his last start against the Mets. He allowed seven runs –two earned– on seven hits, walked two and struck out one. Paul is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals this season.
The Man of the Year award first started in 1997, which was re-named in honor of Marvin Miller in 1998.
According Major League Baseball, the award is given to “the player in either league whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement.”
Curtis Granderson recieved the award in 2009, Michael Young in 2008, Torii Hunter in 2007 and Albert Pujols in 2006; to name a few.
The players on each of the 30 clubs nominate their fellow teammates and it’s up to the fans to vote and choose the six finalists.
Paul Maholm has had a huge impact on the Pittsburgh community since he was called-up in 2005. Since losing his mother to cancer, Maholm has worked primarily with Gilda’s club in Pittsburgh.
(Gilda’s club mission statement is: To develop strategies and lead activities that will enable our worldwide group of independent affiliates to become the premier emotional and social support community for people with cancer and their families and friends. To nurture affiliate network growth and serve as a unifying voice and catalyst to ensure program effectiveness, a quality brand image and the highest standard of operation wherever Gilda’s Clubs exist.)
A few of the events he hosted at the Gilda’s club are an anual BBQ with the Bucs dinner, and a super Saturday kids workout.
Maholm recently hosted a “Strike out Cancer” event in June to raise money for the Gilda’s club. Guests enjoyed a buffet, danced to a live band, chatted with some Pirates players as well as the coaches and broadcasters. There was also an auction and raffle that guests could bid on.
Maholm also provides holliday meals and gifts for those less fortunate in Mississippi.
Not only does he do so much for the community he is always supporting his teammates charity events as well.
These are just a few of the many amazing things Paul has done for the Pittsburgh community. And are just a few of the reasons why you should vote for him for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.
You can vote for Paul Maholm here.
You can see the full lists of players who were nominated here.
- Jose Tabata continues to be a hitting machine; 12-for-28, .428 AVG, two home runs, two walks and four RBI in his past seven games.
Since being called up from Triple-A Indy on June 9th, Tabata has accumulated 87 hits which is only one behind Albert Pujols during that span.
“Albert Pujols? Really? Come on,” Tabata pressed.
Batting .312, he is second among all Major League Rookies with a minimum of 300 plate apperances; Buster Posey is the leader.
If that isn’t enough, Tabata’s 59 hits since the All-Star break are second-most in the league, behind the Cubs Starlin Castro.
- The Pirates face the Cubs for the final three games of the season starting today. This season the Buccos have “owned” Chicago winning 9-of-12 games. Ryan Doumit is 8-for-17 against Zambrano, so I would expect him to be in the line-up today playing right field.
Monday’s Pitching Matchup:
Paul Maholm 7-12, 4.82 ERA
Carlos Zambrano 5-6, 4.64 ERA
Maholm is 7-1 in 12 career starts against the Cubs with a 5.70 ERA. His last start on June 28th against Chicago, Paul gave up one run on seven hits through eight innings.
Zambrano has made four starts since returning to the rotation on Aug. 9. He is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. On Tuesday against the Nationals, Carlos allowed one run on five hits through 7.1 innings.
Daniel McCutchen made his first start last night in a little mover a month. The expectations weren’t so high, let’s just be honest. Since he was moved to the bullpen, the longest outing he has pitched was four innings. And against the Cardinals line-up, well, I was hoping for five decent innings from him.
McCutchen pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and struck out five (which included a strike-out swinging from Albert Pujols) Daniel picked up his second win on the season and the Pirates won 5-2.
“I didn’t feel a whole lot of pressure,” McCutchen said. “I wasn’t thinking about how deep I was going to go in the game. I was just trying to focus on every hitter and every inning at the time.”
“He did a good job,” Cards manager Tony La Russa said. “As I remember, we scratched out a run here and a run there [last time facing him], but he’s an impressive looking young pitcher.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The Pirates took 2-of-3 from the Cardinals. The last time they won a series against St. Louis was May of 2009.
Poor Tony La Russa. The Cardinals are in the pennant race, currently 3.5 games back. They probally thought they would come to Pittsburgh and sweep the Pirates; easy, and make some ground in the NL Central. Woops. Your welcome Reds.
“To go out and to play like we did, and pitch like we did against that lineup, is something that we strive for and what we’re working toward doing on a daily basis,” said Neil Walker, whose handprint was all over this victory. “Obviously, teams like the Cardinals have shown from a professional standpoint that they’re able to do it. To know how we played these last couple days is something that we’re striving for.”
The Pittsburgh Kid, Neil Walker did it once again. Tuesday night he delievered the game winning runs, Wed night was no different. In the third inning, Synder reached base by a hit by pitch. Daniel McCutchen reached on a bunt attempt that Pujols tried to get the Synder at second, but was unsucessful. Andrew McCutchen hit a dribbler twoards the third base line.
The bases were loaded and Walker stepped up to the plate.
“As a competitive baseball player, that’s anybody’s dream to come up with the bases loaded,” he said. “To be able to have the opportunity the last couple of nights, to have some guys in scoring position, has been great. Approach doesn’t change. Just try to put the barrel on the ball.”
Walker didn’t treat Westbrook very kindly. Neil launched the sinker off the wall in center field. If it was elevated by a few feet it would have been a grand slam. Walker settled for a bases clearing triple.
Walker upped his batting average with runners on base to .381.
“You want to be aggressive, you want to be energized, but you want to stay within yourself and let the process of the swing and the at-bat take over,” Russell said, pointing to Walker’s steady approach as the reason behind his success in such critical spots. “Good things happen when you do that.”
Jose Tabata had a bases-loaded hit in the fourth and Garrett Jones’ solo homer in the eighth gave the Pirates the 5-2 Victory.
“He threw a great game,” manager John Russell said. “He was sharp, the ball was down, you have to tip your hat. For him to go out and pitch six innings against that team and shut them down was outstanding. I can’t say enough about what he did.”
“A lot of it goes to (catcher Chris) Snyder,” McCutchen said. “I felt like he had a good game plan and knew what I was capable of doing. He didn’t ask me to do too much but really kept them off-balance with all the pitches early in innings. Going to off-speeds early, I was able to throw for strikes and stay ahead in the count for the most part.”
The Pirates bullpen pitched well again last night too.
Chris Resop pitched 1/3 of an inning. He did give up a solo-Home run to Lopez in the seventh. To be fair, it was a cheap home run as it hit off the foul poul.
Ledezma came in and finished off the seventh, gave up two hits and struck out one.
Evan Meek pitched a perfect eighth inning. He retired the heart of the lineup, including Pujols and Holliday.
“Things seem a lot different now,” reliever Evan Meek said. “This past week, we started having this meeting going over the night before.”
“And guys start talking,” Meek said. ” ‘This guy had a heads-up play doing this.’ Or ‘This guy had a big hit.’ We’re starting to pay attention to what guys are doing. It’s not so much individuals. It’s more of a team.”
Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth inning, although it wasn’t a save oppurtunity. He gave up one run on two hits and the Buccos won 5-2.
News and Notes:
- The Pirates have an off-day on Thursday. They have a three game road series against the Brewers and Cubs before the return back to PNC Park on Septemeber 3rd.
- Altoona Curve’s Broadcaster quit during the middle of the game -Pirates Prospects
- (Via @LangoschMLB) In case you’re curious: No, Pirates D. McCutchen didn’t earn another start w/ his sharp outing Wed; Russell says back to the ‘pen for Cutch.
- Former Bucco, and award winner of FLUKE SEASON, Jose Bautista is talking crap on the Pirates -ESPN
- Like Jason Heyward? Why Not Pedro Alvarez? -Bloomberg Sports
- Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the 15-day DL and Brian Burres was re-called from Triple-A Indy. Burres was called up for the third time this season and will be used primarily out of the Bullpen.
- The Pirates still have not decided on who will start in place of Ohlendorf on Sunday. Charlie Morton or Brad Lincoln are options or the Pirates could use Burres or Gallagher if they are not used much in the pen’.
- 4th round pick Nick Kingham made his pro debut on Wed: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
The Pirates have finalized their deal with Columbian shortstop Dilson Herrera. The 16 year old will get a $220,000 bonus.
The Pittsburgh Kid, Neil Walker’s seventh inning two RBI single off Adam Wainwright gave the Pirates a 4-3 much needed victory on Tuesday night.
(By the way, you can totally see me in that picture. Just above Walker’s right shoulder, I’m the blonde in the purple shirt)
Ronny Cedeno hit a lead-off double, Jose Tabata with a two out walk (after about a 10 pitch AB) and also stole second base. Walker singled to center, sending Cedeno and Tabata home.
“It was a fastball middle-in and in those type of situations, since being up here sometimes it’s easy to get excited and in the moment, I really tried to make a conscious effort to go in the opposite direction and tried to relax a little bit more and trust my instincts, get ready for a fastball and adjust accordingly,” Walker explained.
“He threw a fastball and I was able to pull my hands in and use that part of the field, and that was important for me, and I was able to find some grass.”
“Wainwright is tough and it’s no secret that’s why he has the numbers he does,” Pirates manager John Russell said. “He’s pitched very well against us and you have to give [Paul] Maholm a lot of credit keeping us in the game and giving us an opportunity to tie it and take the lead.
“Some games this year we haven’t been able to stay close and tonight we did, and if you’re going to beat a guy like that, just like we did Santana the other day, you’ve got to stay with them and get that opportunity and come through, and the guys did a great job tonight.”
Let’s not forget about the great pitching by the Pirates as well. Paul Maholm pitched 6.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out four. After Maholm allowed a two-run homerun to Matt Holiday in the first inning, he settled in and pitched like his normal self (which has been up and down a lot this season). Glad to see a nice outing by Maholm. He did receieve his seventh no-decision of the season.
“Maholm gave us a great start,” Russell said. “Especially after [Monday] with [Ross] Ohlendorf coming out, we needed him to cover some innings and he’s done that a few times this year where we needed a quality start and he gave it to us. The 0-2 home run in the first, I’m sure he’d like to have it back, but he really settled down and didn’t let it get to him, and he really threw a nice game for us.”
Joel Hanrahan came replaced Maholm in the seventh inning and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, striking out one, picking up the win.
Absolutely nothing against Hanny, but I’m glad John Russell gave Evan Meek a save oppurtunity last night. Since Dotel was traded, JR said that he would give them both the oppurtunity to fight for the closer role. (I know there haven’t been many save oppurtunities) but Meek hasn’t gotten the chance, until last night.
Meek gave up four hits and one run and picked up his second save on the season. Evan actually pitched better than his line shows. Randy Winn’s single trickled past Meek’s glove and a throw couldn’t be made, Cedeno miss played a ball hit by Jay and a run scored bringing the game to 4-3. Alvarez also miss played a ball hit by Pujols but the tying run on third did not score. Bases were loaded with just one out. Holliday and and Lopez both popped up to seal the victory.
Talk about intense.
“A good team is going to do that,” Meek said. “They are going to get hits and they are going to drop them in. I was kind of getting frustrated because we were working those lefties in and they weren’t getting barrel on the ball, they were shooting the other way and hit in the perfect spot, but in a situation like that you’ve just got to go one pitch at a time, and just go out there and try to get three outs and it turned out in my favor.”
Russell was happy with the work from his bullpen.
“That was outstanding,” Russell said. “The guys came up big — Hanrahan and Meek. I thought Evan threw the ball well, infield singles, but he kept pounding the strike zone and that was big.”
“It was fun to get the job done and I think some of the guys fed of of that,” Hanrahan stated.
It’s been a rough year for the Pirates, but they have come up big against some of the game’s top pitchers and are hoping that bodes well for the future.
“It would be easy for us to roll over and cruise our way to the end of the season,” Walker said. “On a daily basis we’re making a conscious effort to find that added motivation, and not just when the big pitchers are throwing, and the guys with the good numbers. It’s important for us to keep battling and keep playing hard, because we want to build some momentum going into next year.”
News and Notes:
- Pirates scratch Jeff Karstens (arm fatigue) for Wed game. Daniel McCutchen will start in his spot. Karstens is expected back for his next start.
- (Via @RobBiertempfel) Pirates will call up bullpen help Wed from Triple-A Indy, then bring up starter (prolly Charlie Morton) to pitch Sunday v Brewers
- The DBacks released Ex-Pirate Bobby Crosby on Tuesday. (Crosby was part of the deal along with Carrasco and Church for Synder and Ciarraco) Crosby, 30, hit .220/.294/.298 in 189 plate appearances with the Pirates and D’Backs this year.
- Ross Ohlendorf thinks his season is over. MRI results diagnosed him with a strained lat muscle behind his right shoulder. He added that neither he nor the Pirates are completely ruling out a late return. Watch the video interview here
When asked when he might be able to return: “For next season, for sure, after I build up the arm strength again and everything heals. There could be a start or two at the end, but the most important thing with an injury like this is to be careful.”
There was no ligament damage, no damage to the rotator cuff and no cause for surgery. “I’m very relieved with the diagnosis,” Ohlendorf said. “I hadn’t had anything like that. Didn’t know what to expect. I was afraid it might be worse. To know I’m going to make a full recovery, pretty much without question, is really encouraging.”
- The Pirates now on pace for minus-324 run differential, which would be second-worst in modern NL history (’62 Mets, minus-331).
Jake Westbrook 1-1, 3.60 ERA
Daniel McCutchen 1-5, 6.65 ERA
Westbrook has made four starts since being traded to the Cardinals, going at least six innings in each but has just one win to show for it. His last start against the Giants, went six innings giving up seven hits and three runs, walked two and struck out seven.
McCutchen will start in place of Jeff Karstens who was scratched because of arm fatigue. Since being moved to the bullpen, in nine relief appearences he has a 1.74 ERA with eight strikeouts.Daniel’s last start was on 7/31 against the Cardinals going just 5.2 innings, three runs on six hits, walked six and struck out just one.
Ross Ohlendorf has got to be the most unluckiest pitcher this season.
- Ohlendorf had an early season month-long stint on the disabled list due to back spasms.
- During the first inning of his July 28 start he was struck in the head with a line drive.
- Ohly has had little run support despite posting a 2.35 ERA in his last 10 starts. He is 1-10 during that span.
After facing just two batters in last night’s start against the Cardinals, throwing just eight pitches Ohly was pulled from the game with shoulder tightness.
”It didn’t feel great, but I felt like I could pitch through it,” Ohlendorf said. “When I gained speed, it didn’t feel as good. It kind of got worse with each pitch.”
It wasn’t from throwing just one pitch though, after the game JR said that Ross felt a little stiffness warming up. His velocity was down as well. 88, 89, 87 was his fastball on the gun.
“We don’t know much,” Russell said. “He just said he felt it warming up a little bit, and he couldn’t get over it during the first couple hitters. He felt a little stiffness and thought it would loosen up and it never did.”
In reading Ohlendorf’s expression, however, there was a sense that he already fears the news.
“It’s sore,” Ohlendorf said. “I don’t really know what’s wrong yet. Hopefully it’s just muscle and not in the shoulder.”
“I feel so sad for Ross,” shortstop Ronny Cedeno said. “He works so hard, and he’s pitching so well. And nothing really is going his way.”
Ross has no history of shoulder problems. Shoulder issues generally are seen as more serious for pitchers than elbows. Ohlendorf will undergo an MRI on Tuesday morning.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the most recent pitcher in Major League Baseball history to have one or fewer wins, 11 or more losses and an ERA under 4.07 was the New York Mets’ poor Anthony Young Sept. 11, 1993, when he was 1-16 with a 3.77 ERA.
If Ohlendorf is placed on the DL, or needs to rest for a start or two, Charlie Morton would probally be the guy to be called up. In Morton’s 13 starts since being demoted, He is 4-4 with a 3.83 ERA.
Sean Gallagher re-placed Ohlendorf and inherited two Cardinals on base and Pujols at the plate in the first inning. He delivered a slider up over the heart of the plate and Pujols blasted it into the Pirates bullpen for a three-run home run, his career 399th.
“You have men on first and third early in the game like that, you want to make sure that we get on the board right away,” Pujols said. “He gave me a pretty good pitch to hit, and I put my best swing of the night on it.”
“It didn’t help that I served him a slider on a silver platter,” added Gallagher. “It was definitely a rocky way to enter the game. I felt like I got hot quick enough, but hindsight is always 20/20. I wish I could go back and take a few more [warmup pitches] to calm myself down and give myself a better mindset. I kind of just came out a little too aggressive.”
Albert Pujols entered last nights game with these career stats at PNC Park:
.381 AVG, .462 OBP, .714 SLG, 23 HR, 69 RBI, 71R
Seven men came to the plate in the first inning with four runs scoring before the first out was even recorded.
Gallagher pitched 4.1 innings, gave up five runs on six hits, walked two and struck out one. Sean continued to struggle with his control. At one point he retired 10 batters in a row.
Jose Tabata continued his hot bat, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base. He has 51 hits since the All-Star break, second in the NL behind the Cubs Starlin Castro.
Neil Walker led off the sixth inning with a triple and Garrett Jones followed with a two-run home run (his 18th).
The Bucs couldn’t score catch up enough. The cardinals tapped on three more runs in the fifth inning and three more in the eighth. St Louis won, 10-2.
News and Notes:
- The Pirates have now dropped six of the eight games played so far on this 10-game homestand.
- The Pirates have placed 1B Jeff Clement on the 15-day D.L. The move is retro to 8/21, with a left knee irritation. LHP Justin Thomas has been re-called from Triple-A Indy.
- Minor League Update:
John Bowker: 1-for-3, HR (3), .348 AVG
Charlie Morton 6IP, 4H, 0ER, 4K, 0BB (3.83 ERA)
Jeff Locke 5.2 IP, 5H, 1ER, 7K, 2BB (WP 3-1)
Andrew Lambo 1-for-4, 2RBI (.333 AVG)
Zack Von Rosenberg 5IP, 4H, 2ER, 3K, 2BB (3.39 ERA)
- The Pirates have scored two runs in five of the past six games. They have gone seven games without cracking the 3-run mark.
- Neil Walker’s .370 AVG with runners on base is the third highest for the Pirates since 1974.
- Lastings Milledge has not been complaining about lack of playing time since the Pirates have moved Doumit primarily to right field.
“No, I’m not complaining,” Milledge said Monday. “It’s not personal. I know JR loves the way I play, I know Neal loves the way I play.”
“It’s just sometimes certain situations things don’t work out for the time being. I just feel like, when I get my opportunity, I’m going to make the best of it, whether it’s two times a week or three times a week. When I get in there I need to make up for lost time. That’s the approach I’ve been taking. The last couple guys I faced have been No. 1 starters.”
“I could easily fall into that trap, but I don’t care who’s out there right now, anytime I get an opportunity I’m going to take advantage of it. I can’t control how much playing time I get, but I can control my energy level when I get in the game. Whether I start or pinch-hit, I’m going to be the most ready guy on the team. That’s something I take pride in.”
Pittsburgh-Post Gazette’s Dejan Kovacevic’s Pirates chat transcript: (A few questions that I wanted to share)
Greg45478: Is Evan Meek going to get a save opportunity this year, or is Hanrahan the permanent closer right now?
Dejan Kovacevic: Baseball? OK.
I get the impression, though the Pirates will not say so, that they’re being more careful with Meek than they’d like to let on. His inning count is ahead of Hanrahan, and Hanrahan has done it before.
I also get the impression the Pirates would much, much rather have these two work out the closer thing next spring, not now.
colormeskeptical: What is Aki still doing in the organization? Are they seriously thinking someone will trade for him through waivers? Having anyone other than him get those at bats has to be a better use of them.
Dejan Kovacevic: I really couldn’t see the Pirates telling a guy who’s taking that much of their money to just go home and lie on the couch counting it. They are not happy with any aspect of his preparation entering this season, though they have not criticized that publicly.
I wrote back in the spring that I thought Iwamura looked overweight, and that was greeted with some derision. The Pirates now acknowledge that.
He will ride buses all summer.
Chris: How does John Russell continue to keep his job? Watching him manage the game Friday night and not get the pinch hitter or another relief pitcher up when you might have a chance to get back in the game is a joke.
Dejan Kovacevic: I was trying to think the next day if that was the most questionable move I had seen from Russell, and I still ranked it third: No. 1 was not sending his players out of the dugout to take on the Dodgers this April when Ramon Ortiz threw twice at Andrew McCutchen’s head. No. 2 was lifting Zach Duke in the home finale last year at 8 2/3 innings.
Tuesday’s Pitching Matchup:
Adam Wainwright 17-7, 2.08 ERA
Paul Maholm 7-12, 4.92 ERA