Hey, no surprise. The Bucs rolled into Washington and a softball game eventually broke out. During the first 4-1/2 innings, it actually resembled a real baseball game, even with a couple of Nat boots by Cristian Guzman, and the Pirates were up 3-1.
Then the Big O got his pitches up, and before the Nats retook the field, it was 5-3. That was the good news for them; the bad news was that DC bullpen was now officially on the clock.
Pittsburgh answered with five runs the next at-bat, and came away with a 12-7 win. The Pirate bullpen wasn't particularly sharp; neither John Grabow nor Matt Capps had much command. But Jesse Chavez and, yes, even Gorzo (one batter, one K), held the fort for a couple of innings, and that was enough to make the difference.
The Washington bullpen worked 4 innings and gave up nine runs. 'Nuff said. The two staffs rolled through eleven pitchers, who tossed 363 pitches during the course of the evening.
And like any good mushball get-together, the ball was flying all over the lot. The two teams combined for 23 hits, and 15 were for extra bases - 11 doubles, a triple, and three long balls. The Buc hitting heroes were Jack Splat, 4-for-4 with a walk, and Craig Monroe, who launched a three-run shot. 14 RBI in 45 at-bats? Sick.
Hey, three in a row for the Buccos. We'll take it, and hope it keeps rollin'.
-- In the Ripley category, tonight was the first time two pitchers with the first name of Ross (Ohlendorf and Detwiler) started against each other. Both were drafted by the same scout, Mike Rizzo: Ohlendorf by Arizona in 2004 and Detwiler by Washington in 2007. Spooky.
-- Equally spooky: Freeswingers Guzman and Robinzon Diaz both drew their first walk of the season last night, if that's any indication of how bad the pitching was.
-- Wilson had a single, two doubles, a triple, and a walk. He also made a play that had to be seen to believe, ranging far into the hole and throwing a strike to first in the next motion to gun out hit machine Ryan Zimmerman.
-- Diaz looks like the second coming of Manny Sanguillen. He never met a pitch he didn't like, blocks balls in the dirt like a wall, frames pitches nicely, lets strikes bounce off his glove and has a very average arm. He's also pretty forceful with the pitchers; he handles them with confidence beyond his rookie status. Hey, maybe 20 years from now he'll be selling us BBQ.
-- Nyjer Morgan took another night off; the early official line was that the suits didn't want to risk his hammy in the cold, but the beat guys reported that he felt a little pinch while doing some pre-game running and decided discretion was the better part of valor.