Saturday, September 27, 2008

California Dreamin'

Well, whatta ya know? There is a team worse than the Bucs.

The Pirates pulled off a 6-3 victory at PETCO Field tonight, thanks to Ryan Doumit's three run blast and Brian Gile's two run drop.

Ian Snell and Josh Geer were hooked up in a sweet pitching duel for five innings, both giving up solo homers. Then Geer's elbow went out, quickly followed by Snell's leg cramping on him.

Pity, too. Snell was working on a one-hitter, and after throwing 27 pitches in the first frame, had a comfortable count (for him) of 80 after five. But they both hobbled off to their respective dressing rooms, and it became a battle of the bullpens.

The Bucs got some shaky work from Sean Burnett (he got himself in more trouble with his glove than his pitches), a brief but effective TJ Beam sighting, another strong inning from Tyler Yates, and John Grabow danced out of a jam in the eighth. It was enough.

Pittsburgh clung to 4-3 lead with two outs and two on in the ninth when the usually dependable Giles couldn't get a handle on Nate McLouth's ball, and a pair of big insurance runs came home.

Matt Capps polished off the Padres on three fly balls in the ninth, and the Pirates finally put one away. It was their first win in San Diego since 2005.

> The Bucs filled their final fall ball slot when they sent OF Jamie Romak to Scottsdale to play in the Arizona Winter League. He hit 25 HR's between A and AA ball this season, but needs to cut his strikeout rate.

Romak whiffed 127 times in 410 at bats. Still, there aren't many Pirate prospects with his power, and his progress bears watching.

> Nyjer Morgan is done for the season after it was confirmed on Friday that he had a mild left hamstring tear. It's too early to tell if the injury will keep him from playing in the Mexican League during the off season, as planned.

Morgan batted .347 in the 34 games he played following his recall and reached base safely in 25 of his 27 starts since. He stole eight bases in eleven tries and scored 20 runs during that span.

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