Hampton went seven innings, and gave up a run on five singles with five punch-outs as the 'Stros rolled over the Bucs 9-1 at Minute Maid park tonight.
He has four wins and an ERA of 4.65, with three coming against Pittsburgh. The Pirates have scored two runs in twenty innings against the veteran lefty. Even by Bucco standards, that's domination.
Not that he needed much help. Jeff Karstens had a tough third inning, and then lost it in the sixth. In 5-2/3 frames, he surrendered six runs on nine hits with four walks.
Evan Meek made sure the stake was driven through the Buc's heart when he came on and gave up a couple of walks followed by a Carlos Lee grand salami before he got the third out.
Ah well, good one to get out the system, we hope. Paul Maholm tries to right the ship tomorrow against Roy Oswalt.
-- We're wondering if the Bucs would be better served by using Craig Monroe when there's a lefty on the mound.
He's averaging .263 against port-siders, while Nyjer Morgan was hitting .156 against southpaws. Freddy Sanchez could slide back into the two hole, where he's batting .337; he's hitting .172 in the third spot so far this season.
JR says he's committed to Andrew McCutchen and Morgan at the top and Sanchez in the RBI spot; we'll see how that works out.
It may just be a statistical blip so far this year because of a small sample size (29 at-bats) for Freddy. In his career, Sanchez has batted third more than any other position in the order and has a .309 lifetime average there.
Still, if Morgan can't get it on against lefties...
-- It's gonna take a while for the outfield to get back in order. McCutchen has to learn to take charge and the guys have to learn to mesh again; we saw some hesitation on a couple of balls that may have been catchable. Spring training over again...
McCutch had an 0-for tonight, but he hit the ball on the nose three times in four appearances.
-- Nate McLouth sounds about ready to turn the page. He told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that
"You want to win when you’re an athlete, not a lot of that went on there when I was over there,” McLouth said. “It’s unfortunate because there are a lot of people over there who work hard and deserve it. But to come into a situation like this where winning is expected, winning happens, it’s a breath of fresh air.”-- And the story goes on. Howard Megdal of MLB Trade Rumors has a short piece "Who Goes In A Pirate Firesale." *sigh* Who's safe?
-- In a post by NBC's Matthew Pouliot of "Circling the Bases" that rates possible NL Rookie of the Year candidates ranked by VORP (Value Over Replacement Player), guess who's fifth? Jason Jaramillo.
-- Not such a great mention: Baseball America's latest "Prospect Hot Sheet" has newly acquired LHP Jeff Locke on it - under the "Not So Hot" section! Great welcome to a new organization, hey?
-- If you're still wondering why Jay Bay was dealt, Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports has the answer in a nutshell: "Bay's numbers would put him in the neighborhood of fellow Boston corner outfielder J.D. Drew, who agreed to a five-year, $70 million deal..."
-- Why is taking a pitcher such a roll of dice in the draft? Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has one reason in his article "Overuse of College Pitchers A Concern."