Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cards Fly High

Well, the pitching couldn't be great every night. Jason Davis was whacked around by the Cards and the Bucs couldn't climb out of the early abyss, losing 11-2.

Davis lasted 3-2/3 innings, giving up nine hits, three walks, and eight runs (six earned). He may have just punched the ticket for Gorzo's comeback tour of Pittsburgh. We'll find out soon; Gorzelanny is slated to start for Indy tomorrow.

Brandon Moss made a quick return to the lineup and chipped in with a pair of knocks. Nyjer Morgan doubled and drew a couple of walks. Ryan Doumit continued his hot hitting with three hits and a two-run homer, his 13th.

There's been some talk of late on the web boards that the Bucs should consider returning Doumit to RF or 1B next season because of the wear and tear of catching and the need for his bat in the new Pirate offense.

While his defense, which had steadily improved only to drop off again as the season reached its dog days, is a concern, we think the bigger concern is finding a capable offensive back up to give Doumit a blow behind the dish.

Maybe that'll be Ronny Paulino; the jury is still out on that decision. But there's not much chance of him moving next year. Pittsburgh has too many young OF'ers and no young catchers. And while there's noise of trying to deal Adam LaRoche in the winter, it's likely he'll be Pittsburgh's 2009 first baseman.

So for the foreseeable future, look for Doumit to keep donning the tools of ignorance as his Buc uniform.

On the minor league front: Indy lost in eleven innings, 5-4. RHP Jimmy Barthmaier took the game into the sixth, but both Evan Meek and Frankie Osoria blew save opportunities. RHP Jesse Chavez (2-5, 3.74 ERA) took the loss.

3B Neil Walker (.239) had two hits and 2 RBI. CF Chris Duffy (.333), in his second start, went 1-2 with two walks. RF Ryan Mulhern (.242) hit his 11th HR.

Ol' Bucco prospect Brad Eldred tied the game with a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and then singled in the game-winning run with two-outs in the bottom of the 11th. Pity he couldn't do that for Pittsburgh.

C Ronny Paulino, according to a couple of web reports, has bursitis in his right shoulder.

Joe Sheehan of writes in "You Just Wait" for Sports Illustrated, an article on the up and comers:
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates. A true centerfielder with strong leadoff skills, McCutchen has made a steady climb through Pittsburgh's system since being the team's top pick in 2005. At each level that he's played, McCutchen has been among the youngest players, yet his contact rate and strikeout-to-walk ratio (key statistics for any front office in assessing a prospect) have improved in each of the last three years. Scouts look at McCutchen's arms and see power potential as well, giving him middle-of-the-order upside, not dissimilar to that of the Indians' Grady Sizemore.

> Altoona dropped a 4-3 decision. Matt Capps pitched an inning with a walk and strikeout.

3B Jim Negrych (.312) was 2-3 with an RBI and stolen base. DH Brad Corley (.271) was 2-4 with an RBI, and CF Jose Tabata (.265) was 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.

> Lynchburg banged out five doubles and three long balls on the way to an 11-5 win tonight. RHP Mike Crotta (9-9, 4.82 ERA) was the beneficiary of the outburst, going six innings, giving up seven hits, two runs, and striking out three.

2B Matt Cavagnaro (.500), in his third game since being called up from Hickory, went 4-5 with two doubles and 3 RBI. SS Jose De Los Santos (.227) had three hits, a double, and a run. 1B Kent Satamoto (.255) was 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored. LF Jared Keel (.233) hit his 16th homer & a double, with 3 RBI and a tally.

DH Brian Friday (.290) hit his second home run, and RF Miles Durham (.235) went yard for the fourth time this season.

> Hickory lost 2-1. LHP Michael Felix started and went 5 scoreless innings, giving up 2 hits, three walks, and striking out 4. RHP Victor Igsema (1-1, 6.66 ERA) gave up a run in the ninth to take the loss, going 1-1/3 innings surrendering 2 hits, a walk, and a run. He struck out one.

3B Matt Hague (.319) had half the Crawdad hits, going 2-4 at the plate.

> State College was off tonight.

> Bradenton won 4-1 behind the pitching of LHP Tyler Cox (1.79 ERA) and RHP Albert Fagan (3-2, 3.09 ERA). Cox started and went four innings, giving up a run on three hits with a walk and 6 strike outs. Fagan got the win, pitching four innings, yielding a hit and K'ing a pair.

LF Edwin Roman (.224) went 2-3 with a double, run and RBI. 3B Jarek Cunningham (.321) homered,his fourth, and drew two free passes, while CF Robbie Grossman was held hitless, but walked and stole a base.

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