Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Pitching Is Willing, But The Bats Are Weak...

Three innings. Six hits. One walk. One run. Five left on base. That's how the Pirates started the game, and it didn't get much better. Barry Zito's line when he left after 100 pitches and 5-1/3 innings was nine hits, two walks - and one run. He stranded nine Buccos.

Charlie Morton had his usual great movement and questionable command. He gave up a pair in six innings, surrendering six hits and three walks while collecting five strikeouts. Still, he could have blanked the G-men if he had an answer for Eugenio Velez.

Velez hit his first homer of the season, and second of his career, for the first tally - the thirteenth straight run scored by Pirate opponents after two outs - and then doubled in a run (with one out). Both pitches were low heaters that ran back over the plate.

Jesse Chavez gave up a run in the seventh; the Bucs plated one when Luis Cruz's sac fly brought home Andy LaRoche. and that was it; the Giants took the 3-2 win.

The Pirates had runners on every inning and the lead-off batter reached five times. The Bucs ended up stranding eleven and struck out ten times; that's 25 K's in two games.

Pittsburgh has played 23 games in July; they've scored 3 runs or less in 16 of them, and been shut out five times.

And you can't pitch well enough to overcome that kind of support.

-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette reports that Altoona prospect Jim Negrych is done for the season. He had surgery for a hematoma, a ruptured blood vessel, that was the result of a collision involving his abdomen last night with shortstop Brian Friday. It's not thought to be career-threatening.

-- The recent Giant pick-up from the Indians, first baseman Ryan Garko, was born in Pittsburgh. His family moved to the West Coast, where he attended high school, and he lives in California now. So his first game as a Giant tonight is kinda a double homecoming.

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