Yusmeiro Petit came into tonight's game with a 1-5 record, 6.75 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.622. So, in keeping with recent Pirate performance, the beefy Venezuelan righty tossed seven innings of no-hit ball and led the D-Backs to a 6-0 romp over Pittsburgh.
His counterpart, Zach Duke, was 9-9 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.216 WHIP, and an All-Star to boot. The Zachster lasted five innings and gave up three homers; he was up in zone and behind in the count all evening. Ten Arizona batters struck out; he had one K.
There aren't all that many games that a team should win, but this was one tonight that the Pirates should have had, considering the mound match-up.
But they were out of it by the fourth inning because Neal Huntington's puppy mill hasn't learned to hit soft stuff. Likewise, if the starting pitchers can't practice some damage control and prevent the big inning, well, that's a combination that's gonna lead to a long spell of dog days for the 2009 Pittsburgh club.
We expected some break-in time for the offense, with its lack of power and the learning curve that the young guys will have to experience.
But the starting pitching has fallen disappointingly short this home stand. The rotation is not only failing to hold opponents in check, but they're beginning to expose the bullpen. Hey, sooner or later you have to win a 3-2 game.
Is it 2011 yet?