Monday, August 25, 2008

Bucs Blasted

It's pretty obvious why Chicago has the best record in the league, especially when they play the Bucs. The Cubs are 12-4 against Pittsburgh, and three of those losses were by a run. Throw in some horrid Pirate pitching, and you have formula for a blowout.

Jeff Karstens went 3 innings and gave up 5 runs, and Jason Davis lasted two more, also yielding a five-spot. The final was an ugly 12-3 thumping, to the appreciative cheers of the Cubbie faithful at PNC. That was as embarrassing as the score.

The only bright spot was the bat of Brandon Moss, who homered and doubled. He may finally be settling in to a starting routine, unlike Andy LaRoche, who had another 0-for night.

On the minor league front:
Indy lost in the tenth, 9-8. RHP Jesse Chavez (2-6, 3.80 ERA) gave up a lead off double, and after a bunt, walked the next two intentionally. The strategy was foiled when the next batter singled. RHP Jimmy Barthmaier (3.73) got roughed up at the start, giving up 5 runs in 4 innings.

3B Neil Walker (.241) had a pair of hits and his 16th HR, driving in 4 and scoring once. SS Brian Bixler (.285) went 2-4 with his 7th HR and a stolen base, his 20th, scored 3 runs, and had one RBI. SS Luis Cruz (.320) had two hits and a run.

> Altoona was off today.

> Lynchburg mustered one hit and went down 5-0 tonight. SS Brian Friday (.292) had the only knock, a double, and stole a base.

LF Jared Keel has been named the Carolina League’s Player of the Week for August 18-24. The Panama City, Florida-native’s week consisted of three multi-hit efforts and a trio of three-RBI contests.

The 2006 31st-round draftee from Troy U. hit .409 with four home runs and nine RBI during the week. Keel also had eight runs scored, while his OBP of .536 and slugging percentage of 1.045 combined for an astronomical 1.581 OPS.

Hitting only .208 after July, the 24-year old's season average has risen 21 points to .236 in August and his 19 home runs not only lead the Hillcats, but are tied for third in the league. He’s also tied for fifth in the league in RBI with 78.

Former Lynchburg OF Jamie Romak, now with Altoona, won the award in June, while LHP Brian Holliday won Pitcher of the Week in July.

> Hickory was rained out tonight.

> State College lost 8-7. RHP Yoffri Martinez (2-5, 4.58 ERA) dropped another one in relief, giving up 5 runs in two innings of work. He's taken the the last three losses for the Spikes. CF David Rubenstein (.217) doubled and had 3 RBI.

> Bradenton scored twice in the ninth, using two stolen bases to manufacture runs, and won 7-6. LHP Carlos Teller (4-0, 4.37 ERA) and RHP Gary Amato (0.00 ERA) worked the last three innings for the win and save, giving up two hits and striking out four.

Amato has worked 13 scoreless innings in 8 appearances with 19 K's for the baby Bucs since being sent down from State College, where he had a Matty Mo-like ERA of 8.86.

DH Jarek Cunningham (.322) went 3-4 with his fifth home run and a stolen base, 2 runs and 2 RBI. 1B Carlos Silva (.329) had two hits, including his fifth homer, a stolen base, two runs and two RBI. LF Edwin Roman (.221) hit his second home run, a solo shot.


WilliamJPellas said...

Here's a truly scary stat for ya, Ron. The Pirates have 30 games left in the 2008 season, and even if they somehow manage to go .500, that is, 15-15, they'll still finish with 90 losses.

I know, I know, it's a work in progress, and yes it's true that we really won't know what we have until about halfway through 2009. I fully expect our drastically improved pitching to come through, and our somewhat improved defense will help. But our offense is terrible, and the team overall, right now, is horrendous.

At some point, it will no longer be "early". At some point, this all becomes extremely disappointing. In fairness we're not really there....yet. But it's becoming uncomfortable.

Ron Ieraci said...

Agreed, Will, it's April deja vu. Hopefully they'll have some success against the lower rung teams - what the top guns are doing to this team is brutal to watch.