But the spirits of Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, BF Jones and James Laughlin must have been in the ballyard today; at least that's the only way GW can explain the alchemy that turned the Rockies' gloves into iron in the seventh frame.
A dink into left bounced off a mitt. A soft liner into right found leather, then the sod. A ball hit to the Notch was just flat-out dropped. And even the Pirates know what to do with six outs, to the tune of ten runs.
Eleven straight batters reached without making an out, until Eric Hinske was called out sliding into third. And that was an iffy call (JR even came out to grump about it), but the umps were probably putting their own mercy rule into effect by that time.
The Bucs delighted Oliver Onion's 14,545 fans - his doll was today's giveaway - with a 11-4 laugher. The Pirates were 8-of-15 with runners in scoring position, and their 10-run inning was the first since 2003.
Hey, they're doing what they have to - try to get back into the swing by taking a series at a time. Now they're on a 10-game trek to Washington and Chicago, where they'll take on both the Cubbies and Sox in a rare bit of smart scheduling by MLB's computers. They have to keep on keepin' on.
The probable starters for the Nats series are here, compliments of MLB.com.
-- Yes, that was Gorzo you saw warming up today. The Bucs placed Tyler Yates on the 15-day DL with an elbow inflammation, and Gorzelanny got his reprieve from the bushes, where he was 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA. It's possible that they'll bump Jesse Chavez into Yate's spot, Evan Meek into the bridge role, and Gorzo will be the long guy. But that's probably not the scenario.
It's much more likely that he was brought up to fill a very short-term need for a long guy after last night's arm-eater; he was due to start at Indy today and could step in for three or four innings if needed. If he's not going to crack the rotation, which he isn't now, it'd seem fairly self-defeating to chain him to the pen here for any length of time.
-- The Pirates picked up OF Jeff Corsaletti from Boston and pitcher Randy Newsom from Cleveland, for a PTBNL or cash. Both are headed to Altoona.
Corso, 26, plays LF and CF, and hasn't hit worth a lick in AAA (.211), but has a career .284 average in AA. He was a 6th round pick in the 2005 draft.
Newsom is a 27 year-old reliever, and he's improved at every level he's pitched, with a career 3.18 ERA. He's a sidewinder and ground ball machine, and has a shot at making the show eventually if he can figure out how to get lefties out before it's time to take his pension. Ever hear of a LOOGY? Well, Newsom is a ROOGY.
Both look like they were added for some organizational depth; the Curve need a bit of help this season, and they're the first wave of cavalry.
-- Former Mt. Lebanon High INF Josh Wilson wasn't on the waiver wire long; San Diego picked up the 28 year-old. And ex-Bucco Abraham Nunez, 33, was signed from the indy league Newark Bears to a AAA contract by Arizona. Duaner Sanchez, 29, a pitcher for the Pirates in 2002-03, was DFA'ed by the Padres; his once awesome heater doesn't break 90 now.
-- Draft day approaches, and MLB Trade Rumors reports that
"...righty Alex White pitched in front of four GMs Thursday: Brian Sabean (Giants), Neal Huntington (Pirates), Jack Zdurencik (Mariners) and Mike Rizzo (Nationals). ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill reports that White did not impress."White of North Carolina was supposed to be one of the guys on the Pittsburgh short list; they're looking to address pitching depth with this draft. Hopefully they address it a little better than Dave Littlefield did.