For those of you that love crunching baseball numbers, here's a few that should warm even old school hearts: 2-4, 6-3, 5-4-3, 6-4-3. That's the line score for the DPs the Buccos turned behind Paul Maholm tonight in Pittsburgh's 3-1 win over Milwaukee.
Maholm channeled into his April stuff, and was masterful at PNC. He went 7-2/3 innings, giving up a run on eight hits. Of the seventeen balls his defense converted into outs, fourteen were grounders. Even half of his hits were rolled into the outfield.
More impressively, he went deep enough that the bullpen needed just four outs, and except for a tiny bit of drama caused by Joel Hanrahan's wild pitch, he and Matt Capps were perfect.
Good thing, too. The Buc offense sputtered, consisting of Ronny Cedeno's two-run jack and Delwyn Young's RBI double. They were done scoring after the third inning, and collected but five hits all night.
Andy LaRoche had a particularly brutal night at clean-up, wearing the collar and stranding five. Ya have to pity JR when he sits down before a game to make his lineup; there's not much to count on after Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, and Young.
At least Ryan Doumit hit a couple of fly balls today, and even laid off a curve or two; maybe his eye is slowly coming back. Ronny Cedeno continues to surprise as a productive eight-hole hitter. His homer, number four as a Pirate, came with two outs and Maholm on deck.
Now to see if the Baby Bucs can keep the momentum going against the equally sad sack Reds, who roll into town Friday. Here's the probable matchups for the series from MLB.com.
But hey, three in a row for the Buccos, the first streak of that magnitude since late June. And coming into this series, there wasn't much action in Vegas for that happening.
-- RHP Jose Ascanio, out with right shoulder tendinitis, will be shut down from throwing for at least ten days. He's not on any pre-determined rehab schedule yet; he'll start throwing when his wing stops aching.
-- RHP Jeff Sues was moved up from Altoona to Indy. The 26 year-old has a 2-6-2 record with a 4.46 ERA. His problem has been control; he's walked 37 in 78-2/3 frames. Sues' other stats are in line; 66 hits, 74 strike-outs, and a 1.31 WHIP.
-- West Virginia C Tony Sanchez was picked as the Sally League Player of the Week after putting up these numbers: .625 average, 7-R, 4-2B, 2-HR, 10-RBI, 3-BB, and a 1.250 slugging percentage. He doesn't seem like that much of a reach in the draft so far; it'll be interesting to see where Sanchez is in three more years.
-- Larry LaRue of the News-Tribune reports that "Jack Wilson won’t be playing for the M's for awhile as he works through his strained left hamstring – and he might not play again until the team returns home next week. 'We don’t want to put him in a game, have him strain it and need to go on the disabled list,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “We’re going to be cautious.'”
Jack Splat's been out since August 12th. He's played 88 games so far this season after getting in just 87 in 2007. Looks like Wilson's days of 150+ games at short are long gone. He couldn't stay on the field for the new suits, and that, as much as his contract, helped trigger his move out of town.