Friday, June 20, 2008

The gods must be crazy...

The baseball gods must be crazy. What else could explain the Pirate staff giving up a quadzillion runs in the last three series and then coming home to take a 1-0, twelve inning victory?

Zach Duke continues to look like he's figured it out, working the ball inside every so often and keeping it down. He went 7 shutout innings and even struck out 4 Blue Jays, matching the always tough Roy Halladay pitch for pitch.

And make no mistake - Pittsburgh won tonight because of Duke. This is the 10th time in the last 11 starts that he's given the Pirates 6 innings or more, and he's allowed two or fewer runs in six of his past 10 starts. Good job, Zachster.

He had an able assist from Doug Meintkiewicz, who made two great plays at third, one game-saving, and scored the game's only run after a three hit night. Maybe we'll see some more platooning at the hot corner.

Excuse us now - we're running down to church to light a couple of candles in hopes that the gods will continue their zany ways.

On the Pirate front: The Buc brass befuddled everyone by sending Marino Salas down and bringing up Nyjer Morgan. That leaves the Pirates with 11 pitchers (not that John Russell ever uses the two at the end of the bench), 1 catcher, and a 4 man bench. Get well soon, anybody.

> In one of the weirder plays we've seen, Morgan lined a baseball off Halladay's noodle in the seventh inning. It ricocheted right to third baseman Scott Rolen on the fly to end the ending (with the bases loaded, yet.) Halladay is day-to-day, but the Jays expect him to make his next start.

> Bill Mazeroski will throw out the first pitch Tuesday when the Pirates open a three-game series against the Yankees. Rub a little salt into it while you have the chance, Buccos. They might just do better by putting him in the lineup.

> What a difference PNC makes in interleague play. The Bucs are 38-40 at home, and a miserable 21-59 on the road. In fact, the Pirates last walk-off home run was against the White Sox in June, 2006 at PNC.

> The White Sox scored 37 runs, hit 10 home runs and batted .404 against Pittsburgh in the three game set. Add your own punch line.

> The Blue Jays fired manager John Gibbons today. Cito Gaston, who brought two World Series championships to Toronto, returned as manager.


WilliamJPellas said...

Really a shame we're without both Doumit and Nady for this series at least. But how valuable is Doug Mientkiewicz to this team? Not only has he played both corner infield positions as well as the outfield, but he is also the emergency catcher (he was a catcher in high school). Doug never was a great hitter and he's no longer even the hitter that he once was, but he is the consummate professional and team player. A very handy guy to have around you in a fight!

Ron said...

And reading between the lines, he's kinda taken Ryan Doumit under his wing and helped groom him into taking a leadership role on this club, which has been lacking a real face since...Pops?
It's a good bench for the way the Pirates are constructed - their starting eight are pretty much set in stone except for Bautista, and Meintkiewicz is pushing him. But for the spot start and PH roles, they're not bad at all, and from all I gather, pretty good heads in the locker room. They're exposed when somebody goes down for an extended period, but that's more a statement of the organization's strength than the benches.