Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Karstens, Sanchez, Reel In Fish

-- Much better played game today, and with the same happy result - the Pirates beat the Fish, 3-2. Jeff Karstens went six innings, giving up a run on three hits, and the Bucs had enough early punch to make a well-deserved winner out of him.

Freddy Sanchez had three hits, including his second homer in the third frame, to pace the offense. Adam LaRoche singled home Nyjer Morgan with two outs in the first, and Jason Jaramillo doubled home Andy LaRoche in the second. It wasn't much, but it was enough.

The Bucs turned three DPs tonight, and Tyler Yates, John Grabow, and Matt Capps closed it out. Yates gave up a booming homer to make it exciting, Grabow worked out of a two-on, one-out jam by striking out Ross Gload after going 3-0 against him, and Capps gave up a hit on the way to his fourth save, but it just served to add a little drama to the outcome.

Pittsburgh is now 8-6, the first time they've been two games above .500 in the John Russell era. Heck, for all GW knows, it may be the first time in 15 years.

The Pirates drew well under 10,000 warm bodies again, a combination of the Penguin nation being glued to the TV and the raw weather. Still, it's a worrisome trend for a team that's playing surprisingly well, and may bear watching if the slim turnouts continue, even with April being a notoriously slow month for PNC attendance.

LHP Paul Maholm will try to complete the sweep against RHP Ricky Nolasco in tomorrow afternoon's get-away game.

-- *Ouch* Ryan Doumit has a fractured scaphoid bone in his wrist that needs cut and pinned together, and it's estimated that he'll be out 8-10 weeks. Get used to Jason Jaramillo and Robinzon Diaz behind the dish for the foreseeable future.

Doumit, at his request, will remain with the Pirates during his time off, attending meetings and doing some PT. He'll probably have another CAT scan in four or five weeks. If that provides good news, he'll begin his rehab work. If not, he could be out for longer than expected.

That makes filling out the middle of the order even more challenging for John Russell. We're guessing that we'll see a lot of Craig Monroe trying to fill the hole at the clean-up spot, at least in the early going.

For the star-crossed Doumit, this marks his sixth visit to the DL since 2006. A Gumby he isn't; he's more like Mr. Bill.

--Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports:
"Yankees outfielder Xavier Nady has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow, but he will avoid surgery.

The Yankees feared originally Nady could be lost for the season with a completely torn ligament, but a review of multiple X-rays revealed that the ligament is only partially torn. He will likely need to rehab the injury for a period of weeks, perhaps a month."
-- The Nationals placed ex-Bucco and Duquesne grad Joe Beimel on the 15-day DL with a left hip flexor strain, and recalled RHP Saul Rivera, who they just sent down.

Beimel, 32, was hurt while making a diving stop yesterday. In eight appearances this season, he has a 1.23 ERA as Washington's set-up guy and was their most effective back-end reliever.


WilliamJPellas said...

Doumit's injury is really a shame. It seems that many of his previous maladies were of the "not-in-proper-condition" variety. Last season, you saw what happened when he dedicated himself to being in peak physical condition (which is no doubt why he wants to stay with the team and keep his PT going).

Popping his wrist the way he did, though, is NOT a lack-of-conditioning injury. It's just bad luck or what have you. It also robs us of our cleanup hitter at about the worst time imaginable.


Ron Ieraci said...

If it weren't for bad luck... What I'm most concerned about, Will, is two or three months of Jaramillo/Diaz. Knock on wood that they can perform in a passable manner.

I'd hate to see the suits forced into getting a short-term replacement; there aren't many out there, and you generally overpay, especially when you're over a barrel.

WilliamJPellas said...

I share that concern in principle, but I'll call my shot right now and say we'll be just fine with a combination of Jaramillo and Diaz, and that Diaz will show by the end of the season that he is a significantly more talented player than Jaramillo is.

Ron Ieraci said...

Too bad we can't roll them up into one player, with Jaramillo's glove and Diaz's bat. I think you're right, though, Will - it's way too disruptive to get a catcher for just a couple of months.

Pittsburgh will live and die with JJ and Diaz for the next few weeks. Only way to find out what you've got, hey?