There's no place like home. That's not only true for Dorothy and Toto, but for JR and his Bucs, too. They dropped their fourth road game in a row, 4-3, to the Reds this afternoon.
RHP Daniel McCutchen made his first Pirate start, and after shedding some early inning butterflies, giving up three runs in his first three innings in the bigs, he settled down nicely and got ten of the next dozen batters. He worked six innings and allowed five hits, walked a pair, and struck out five.
The Pirates scored twice in the second with two away, when a walk and hit batter scored on hits by Jason Jaramillo and Daniel McCutchen. But that was all they'd get off of warhorse Kip Wells, who went six against his old teammates. He gave up just two hits (although he walked four) during his stint.
The Bucs tied it in the seventh, and looked like they had something cooking. Ronny Cedeno led off with a triple and came home on Jaramillo's single. Ramon Vazquez stepped in for McCutchen, and lined a shot towards right.
But instead of two on, no outs, and the top of the order up, the ball zipped into first baseman Joey Votto's mitt. He doubled Jaramillo off first, and that was it.
Joel Hanrahan threw two scoreless frames, but Jesse Chavez couldn't match him in the ninth. It appeared that he would work his way out of a two on, two out jam, but he uncorked a wild pitch, a slider away that went through Jaramillo's wickets, and the winning run trotted home.
And so the road blues continue.
-- McCutchen's place on the USA World Cup team was taken by Indy teammate Brad Lincoln, a much better choice for the assignment. McCutch was ready for some MLB action now; Lincoln might get a shot sometime next year, and could use the international competition as a springboard.
-- To make room for McCutchen, Brian Bixler was shipped back to Indy and RHP John Meloan, just claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on August 12th, was DFA'd off the 40-man roster.
-- And just out of curiosity, if Andy LaRoche doesn't get red hot in the next week, why exactly is it that the suits won't be able to find any at-bats for 3B Neil Walker?
LaRoche's line is .246/7/46 in 426 at-bats; Brandon Moss' is .242/6/30 in 302 at-bats. Moss has been a part-timer for quite a while; LaRoche surely isn't outperforming him by much, so why the love?