Ah, the old Buccos we've come to know and expect were back tonight. They were held to four hits by Braden Looper and company and shut out for the ninth time this season, 2-0, by the Brewers.
Actually, the game may have turned on a pair of catches by CF Mike Cameron and a pair of plays not made by RF Delwyn Young. The Bucs opened the seventh with an Andy LaRoche single, and Ramon Vasquez roped one the opposite way into left center.
Cameron covered a lot of ground and left his feet to take away a sure double and kill a potential big inning. Brandon Moss drove one to the wall during the next at-bat; Cameron ran it down, too. That was the last shot at Looper; the Brew Crew bullpen iced it away after that.
Young turned the wrong way on a catchable Craig Counsell double in the fifth, and he scored on a two-out Prince Fielder single. Counsell scored again in the seventh, again with two outs, and again on a Fielder single.
Young had a great chance to throw him out at home, but ran halfway to the dish before uncorking his throw, missing the out by a step. If he let the ball fly after a couple of steps instead of four or five, Counsell was DOA.
But Young is as advertised, a good stick without a position to call his own. And the truth is that if you hold the Brewers to a pair of runs, you should win. The Pirates have been wasting a lot of decent pitching lately.
Virgil Vasquez took a tough loss, but likely earned a chance to pitch another day. Like Ross Ohlendorf last night, he was in hot water for most of the 6-2/3 innings he threw, giving up nine hits, but held the Brew Crew pretty much at bay in the run column.
But the way they're hitting now, a zero guarantees you nothing more than a no-decision; don't even hope for a W if you give up a couple of runs.
-- Jack Splat sat tonight, and probably will get another day off for tomorrow's get-away game. He tweaked his hammy while making a falling-backwards play last night, and is listed as day-to-day.
-- Freddy and Jack aren't the only guys on the block. The Dodgers have sent scouts to check out John Grabow and Matt Capps, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.
-- Hey, Phil Dumatrait made a four-inning start for the GCL Pirates today. He threw 56 painfree pitches. Dumatrait started the clock on the 30-day window during which he can be on rehab assignment. Once that 30 days is up, he will have to be removed from the DL and put back on the 25-man roster.
We're surprised the Buc suits didn't delay his rehab by ten days; a September call-up would have made the paperwork much easier.
-- Lastings Milledge was named the International League's hitter-of-the-week after going 9-for-17 with five RBIs last week.