Mama said there'd be days like this. "It's just one of those games where you get your butt kicked," John Russell told the Associated Press. What else would you say after a 13-1, well, butt-kicking?
Tom Gorzelanny, a suburban Chicago native, hopefully didn't leave too many tickets for his friends and family. He left after 2-2/3 innings, charged with 7 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks.
Tyler Yates walked four more batters, one with the bases loaded, and there were ten free passes in all for the Cubbie hitters (seven scored.) Chicago must have stolen a page from Pittsburgh's "patience at the plate" playbook.
The Bucs left more runners on than the Cubs, 9-8. But it was no biggie. Even if they all came in, Pittsburgh would have lost by a field goal anyway.
And the hitters have K'ed 10 times in back-to-back games at Wrigley. Rich Hill and Jason Marquis looked like the second coming of Koufax and Drysdale judging from Pittsburgh's performance against them.
We do like Brian Bixler getting a shot at short. He looks like his nerves in the field are settling down, and he even has a couple of hits. Bixler's batting .190, Luis Rivas .196. Let the kid play a bit without looking over his shoulder until Jack Splat gets back.
The only riveting story line is Nate McLouth, who doubled to keep his streak alive. Um, let's see...oh, Pittsburgh 's streak of errorless ball ended at one game, even with Rivas on the pine.
The Cubs have won eight straight from the Pirates dating back to September 9th. The Bucs are on a four game slide after showing signs of life against Cincy. It seems so long ago.
And here's another odd number from the start of the season that sounds more like a hockey stat than baseball: The Pirates are 7-3 when they score first; 0-7 when their opponent does. (Thanks to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com for discovering that tidbit.)
On the minor league front: The stats of the Big Three: Steve Pearce - .263 (4HR, 13 RBI), Andrew McCutcheon - .237 (4HR,
10 RBI, 14 RS), Neil Walker - .173 (2HR, 7 RBI).
A couple of other names of interest: Kevin Thompson - .313 (1HR, 3 RBI, 10 RS), Josh Wilson - .179 (2HR, 7 RBI, 7 RS), Craig Wilson - .162 (1HR, 5 RBI).
Dejan Kovacevic added this in today's Post Gazette notes: The Indianapolis defense, unlike that of the parent club, has committed only five errors through 17 games, making for the best fielding percentage in the International League. The Indians have allowed just one unearned run.
The Pirates have committed 22 errors with a fielding % of .969, the worst in the majors, and allowed 11 unearned runs. Hmmm...
The Giants signed 27 year old RHP Josh Sharpless to a AAA contract. He'll report to Fresno. Sharpless has all the tools, but he's never been able to throw strikes with any consistency.
The G-Men also DFA'ed 27 year old OF'er Rajai Davis, so we'll see where he lands. That means in effect that SF gave us Matt Morris. Go figure.
The Giants considered Davis a LF'er, not a CF'er as in Pittsburgh, and he lost the job to Fred Lewis. Davis was batting .056, Lewis .326. The Bay City Bombers hope he clears waivers and goes to Fresno, where he can get some at bats.
MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Astros have signed RHP Alay Soler to a one-year deal for $400K. Soler was originally inked by the Mets in 2004 after defecting from Cuba but didn't begin pitching in the U.S. until 2006 when he made eight starts for the Mets, going 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA.
He was released and signed by the Pirates last season. He made 14 appearances at AA Altoona before asking for and given his release. Soler was 1-1 with an ERA of 6.00 with the Curve, used both as a starter and out of the pen.