Pittsburgh just can't run with the big dogs, especially the ones unleashed in the Windy City. The White Sox put them away again, 8-2 tonight.
The Buc batters flailed at Mark Buehle. He had the ball up in the zone all night, and the Pirate batters obliged him by flying out all night - unless there was a runner on first; then they hit one on the ground. Four Buc hits, two Buc DP's.
And boy, does the middle of the lineup look bare without Ryan Doumit and Xavier Nady.
The pitching was sort of reverse of the results. Tom Gorzelanny gave up 4 runs in 6 innings, but it could have been much worse. His command was AWOL, keeping pitches up and working behind batters constantly.
Tyler Yates gave up 4 runs in 2 innings, but pitched pretty well. He hit a batter after a single, and looked to have Jim Thome struck out, but the ump wouldn't give him the call. You can guess what happened next.
Thome dumped one between three fielders - and it looked like either of the outfielders could have made the catch if they took charge - to plate one run. The other two came with a two out double, by a batter that wouldn't have gotten up but for Thome's good fortune.
With two outs in the eighth, he was touched for a two out ground ball double past third. The next batter popped up, and Luis Rivas and Adam LaRoche acted out a Keystone Kop routine to let it drop. But Yates was around the plate both innings, pumping out 95-96 MPH heat and a decent curve, and looked pretty good, though the line ended up ugly.
Chicago isn't the Pirate's kind of town.
On the Pirate front: Roberto Clemente was named to the Rawlings Gold Glove All-Time Team, and his family will be picking up the award at PNC on Saturday. Mike Thompson, Rawling VP, will present the trophy to Clemente's wife, Vera, and their two sons, Roberto Jr. and Luis. Junior will throw out the first ball.
The rest of the team was C Johnny Bench, 1B Wes Parker, 2B Joe Morgan, SS Ozzie Smith, 3B Brooks Robinson, OFs Willie Mays and Ken Griffey, Jr., and pitcher Greg Maddux. That group could snag a baseball, although we think there was a miscount at 2B. Morgan over Maz? C'mon!
> Gorzo, tonight's starter for the Pirates, was born a few miles from old Cominskey Park and was a die hard White Sox fan. They even drafted him in 2000, but he passed and went on to college.
> Ryan Doumit will miss at least tonight and tomorrow with a mild concussion received when he got his cage rattled yesterday. Actually, he got his cage rattled three times - that's how many fouls he took off the mask catching last night.
On the minor league front: Look who made the jump to AAA - Evan Meek pitched a scoreless inning of relief in his Indy debut last night. In 9 games with the AA Altoona Curve, he had a 2.81 ERA, 17 Ks and 3 walks.
Of course, someone gotta go when someone else gets called up. In this case, it's RHP Luis Munoz, part of the Bucs 40-man roster and obviously pretty highly thought of in the organization. In 12 starts with the Indians, he went 3-3 with a 5.45 ERA. He's off to Altoona to try to find his mojo.
> The Pirates signed free-agent SS Ray Chang and sent him to Altoona. Chang, 24, began this season in the San Diego Padres' system and hit .240 in 30 games of AA & AAA ball. He's interesting. Undrafted, within three years he earned a starting role in AAA Portland this season.
He hit .262 with 70 hits in 267 at bats for the Beavers in 2007. In 78 games he had 17 doubles, three homers, 24 runs scored and 34 RBIs. He drew 17 walks and whiffed 58 times, and committed 12 errors.
> Hickory 1B Miles Durham was named Class A Sally League player of the week. He hit .500 with 5 doubles, a triple, 2 homers and 7 RBI.
> The short season State College Spikes revved it up, and 1B Calvin Anderson, the Pirates' 12th-rounder in the 2008 draft, hit a 2-run homer in his pro baptism and went 3 for 5. Great way to start a career, hey? And he only signed on Monday.
Anderson came from Southern and will be a work in progress, but he's got a great mentor for up-and-coming first sackers in Sid Bream, who coaches with the Spikes.