Hey, the Bucs finally got to line up and slap skin after a game, as they took out two weeks worth of frustration on the Redbirds tonight with a 7-1 victory.
It was April deja vu all over again. The pitching was outstanding, backed with some slick glovework and efficient hitting. It helped that Jack Splat was back; he made three sweet plays and rejuvenated his infield mate, Freddy Sanchez, who added a couple more. All three outfielders made nice running grabs.
And stop the presses! Brandon Moss had three hits, including his first homer. Adam LaRouche went long. The Pirates had eleven knocks and were 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Zach Duke was the man of the hour. He pitched a strong eight innings, giving up just four hits and striking out five. Duke walked one and beaned a couple, earning the scorn of Tony LaRusso and both sides of the plate from the Card batters for his trouble.
But his key contribution came in the second inning. Behind 1-0, the Pirates had runners on first and second, two outs, and Duke up. It looked like another chance by the boards, but the Zachster softly dropped a single into center for the RBI, and his team mates grabbed their sticks and followed suit. It was 4-1 by the time the smoke cleared, and that was more than he needed tonight.
So hey, the Bucs are all a step quicker and a lot lighter with that gorilla finally off their backs. They can't make up for lost ground in one swoop, but if they can get back to winning a series at a time, they could still make it an interesting summer.