Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Catch And Throw

The Pirate batters aren't gonna get a bunch of runs on most nights, we know that. But they wasted Andy LaRoche and Garrett Jones long balls in falling to Arizona tonight 4-3.

Doug Davis was a bad match up for the kiddie corp lineup of the Bucs, especially with Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Doumit out. His collection of off speed stuff baffles veterans, much less guys learning the ropes.

But still, Pittsburgh was leading late in the game thanks to some solid pitching of their own.

It took until the eighth inning for Pirate pitching to melt down, but melt down it did. Ross Ohlendorf left after six frames with a 2-1 lead, and Jesse Chavez struck out the side in the seventh.

He got the first batter in the eighth, and curiously, JR went to Joel Hanrahan. He was probably trying to save an overused pen, but it would come back to bite him.

Hanrahan walked the first batter. and then got a hard one hop come-backer, a sure inning-ending DP. But he bounced the throw to second, skipping it off Ronny Cedeno's mitt, and that opened the floodgates.

In came Evan Meek, who gave up two singles before ending the inning. The tie run came on a bang-bang play at the plate, but Jason Jaramillo couldn't hang on to Lasting Milledge's strong throw. A ground out moved the runners up, and a two out laser brought them home.

As well as Ollie threw - and he had a two hit shoutout going with two away in the sixth - he suffers from the Pirate pitching paradigm. He, like so many of his staff mates, can't get the third out efficiently.

The Big O walked five (and was, in justice, being squeezed on the outside black by plate ump Doug Eddings, as was everyone) and four were with two outs; four were to the bottom third of the lineup. Two of his four hits were with two away. He tossed 104 pitches to get 18 outs.

The Pirate staff as a whole needs to bear down on ending innings. A couple of 1-2-3 innings gets you deeper into the game and saves wear and tear on the bullpen. Oh, three of Arizona's four runs came with two outs, too.

But tonight's game was Pittsburgh's to take if they made the simple catch-and-throw plays in the field. Hanrahan and Jaramillo couldn't, and the light hitting Bucs went down for the fourth straight time.

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