Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thank You Ma'am

Hey, for once it wasn't the Buccos that threw a game away. They got a solid effort from Paul Maholm, who yielded a pair of runs in six innings; a two-run, two-out homer from Jack Wilson, who dropped one over the short porch in left; and then watched the Astros commit 'Stro-icide in a four-run seventh.

After Houston tied the game with a manufactured run in the sixth, the Astros fell apart. With one out, the Pirates took twelve straight balls to juice the sacks. Jason Jaramillo swung at the first pitch he saw, and spanked a one-hopper to the Big Puma, who went home in hopes of starting a 3-2-3 DP.

But his throw came up short and hopped off of Pudge's chest protector. One run in, and three singles later, it was 6-2 Buccos. Joel Hanrahan and John Grabow did a rain dance through the next two innings, but escaped with a 6-3 lead for Matt Capps, who used a dandy slider to get Houston 1-2-3 and notch his nineteenth save.

Jack Splat had 3 RBI tonight, and Garrett Jones kept pounding with a pair of knocks and two stolen sacks. Cutch added two hits.

-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com reports that everything isn't roses for Gorzo yet:
"General manager Neal Huntington said on Tuesday that not only does Virgil Vasquez have a hold on the team's fifth-spot in the rotation indefinitely, but that Gorzelanny is still a ways from being at the point where management feels comfortable enough to bring him back up to the Majors.

'Tom can't cruise and get the Nos. 2 or 3 hitters out with his best stuff and best focus and then get the Nos. 7 and 8 hitters out with a fastball down the middle that the guy just misses.'" Huntington said.
We'll see if the message is received.

-- Donnie Veal will rejoin the team Friday, so someone has to go. Evan Meek, Jesse Chavez, Joel Hanrahan, Steven Jackson and Jeff Karstens all have options remaining (not that Matt Capps or John Grabow were on the endangered list), so take your pick for Indy's new closer this weekend.

For our two cents worth, it should be Hanrahan. Otherwise, the suits will be sticking JR with two guys he can't depend on to throw a strike in the clutch.

-- The Pirates lead the majors with 25 outfield assists and 97 double plays. Hey, if they only hit as well as they played the field...

-- Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports adds the latest name to the Pirates wish list:
"One player the Pirates would love to get as a possible replacement for second baseman Freddie Sanchez: Eric Young Jr., who has a .386 on-base percentage at Class AAA with the Rockies. But Young, 24, also looms as a potential replacement for the Rockies' current second baseman, Clint Barmes, who has two more years of arbitration."
He warns that Young would cost the Pirates dearly to pry from Colorado.


WilliamJPellas said...

I'd be dumbstruck if Hanrahan is not damaged goods. If we ever get much of anything from him it will definitely be a bonus.

Once again you gave us a very interesting possibility for another middle infielder. Hmmm....a double play combo of Jhonny Peralta and Eric Young Jr....yeah, I'd take my chances with that for a couple seasons until our farm system starts producing some competition for them.

Ron Ieraci said...

I don't think he's hurt, Will - his velocity seems OK; he just can't get it over the plate.

As for the next DP combo, God bless us all, everyone, because the suits will have to conjure one up with smoke and mirrors if Jack Splat and Freddy don't make to August.

Still, there are potential players and deals that can keep the middle competitive, if they can get something other than another outfielder when they start housecleaning.