Tom Gorzelanny's first pitch was hammered into the left field bleachers by Alfonso Soriano, and the game went downhill from there. Gorzo gave up 6 runs in the first two innings and four long balls before his day was through as the Cubs beat the Bucs for the tenth straight time, 7-4.
Gorzo had yielded just 3 home runs before today. But the Cubs own the Evergreen Park, Illinois, native this year - he's started three games against them, and left all three after giving up seven runs. That's no way to treat a native son.
Jay Bay and Doug Mientkiewicz both homered late for the Pirates, but it was too deep a hole for the club to dig out of today.
The Cubs have whupped Pittsburgh 7 times this year, by scores of 10-8, 6-4, 7-3, 3-2, 13-1, 13-6, and 7-4. It adds up to 28 tallies for the good guys versus 59 for the Chicago side. That's 8-1/2 runs per game for the Big Blue Machine against the Pirate hurlers.
Zach Duke will try to stop the merry-go-round tomorrow. It won't be an easy chore. He's matched up against Carlos Zambrano, 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA. Maybe the hidden vigorish will finally rear its' head at Wrigley tomorrow. We can only hope.
On the draft front: Baseball America has chimed in with its' prediction for the June 5 baseball draft. They say the Bucs go for...
2. PIRATES. After Pittsburgh passed on Matt Wieters last year to take the less expensive Daniel Moskos, the new front-office regime could make amends with the fan base by taking the top player on their draft board and paying whatever it takes to sign him. The Pirates have taken pitchers with their top choice in eight of the last 10 drafts, and six of those hurlers required major surgery soon thereafter. So they'll likely focus on shoring up their lineup, and while they like high school SS Tim Beckham, they're interested in more immediate help. Vandy 3B Pedro Alvarez, FSU catcher Buster Posey, Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham and Miami first baseman Yonder Alonso all could be fits.
Projected Pick: PEDRO ALVAREZ.
On the bad news front: Sports Illustrated picked its' All-Time, All-Scandal team, and the Pirates had a pair of representatives:
Dave Parker - The Cobra, a two-time batting champ and the 1976 NL MVP, was one of the biggest names in baseball's cocaine scandal of the 1980s. After testifying at the trial of one of suppliers, Parker was sued in Federal court by the Pirates, who were irked by the fact that they were on the hook for $5.3 million at a time when the slugger was proving that cocaine was not exactly a performance-enhancing drug. (His production had tailed off and he'd become bloated and prone to injury.)
The Pirate Parrot- The bird became embroiled in baseball's cocaine scandal of 1985 when it was revealed before a grand jury in Pittsburgh that he'd introduced assorted members of the Pirates to a local drug peddler and had even distributed a little Peruvian coco powder himself. The Parrot avoided prosecution by cooperating with the FBI. He squawked, hehe.