OK, when you win 13-1, it is for sure the sight-challenged pig finding an acorn.
The pitching was sweet. Paul Maholm went five innings, and gave up six hits and a run while walking three and striking out four. The lefty got eleven of his fifteen outs via the K or grounder, and that's a good sign for April.
The four Pirate hurlers after him - Octavio Dotel, Jack Taschner, Evan Meek, and Javier Lopez - all went an inning with no hits and a strikeout.
The hitting, wind aided though it may have been, was cracklin', too. Aki Iwamura, Andrew McCutchen, Andy LaRoche, and Garrett Jones all homered; McCutch also tripled, while Ryan Doumit had a pair of doubles and Jeff Clement had one. The Bucs had fifteen hits and the Astros committed four errors.
The Pirates needed a game like this; they had been a deep, dark, two-week funk. Let's hope the last week of spring becomes a springboard and not an anchor.
-- In his final start of the spring, Charlie Morton will face Francisco Liriano of the Twins tomorrow. Javier Lopez and Vinnie Chulk are scheduled to follow.
-- JR said he's gonna go with the pitcher batting eighth. He gave all the stock reasons; we'll see if it lasts any longer than the other times he's used it.
-- The Bucs claimed 25 year-old righty Hayden Penn off waivers from Florida, and DFA'd Brandon Moss, who was hitting .083, to create room on the 40-man roster for him. John Raynor has one less competitor to sweat over this week.
Penn looks to GW like a Kevin Hart clone; big guy, lots of nasty stuff, needs a GPS app to find home plate. Penn pitched 13 Grapefruit League innings for the Marlins this spring, and gave up 12 earned runs.
His MLB career consists of 80 innings. His record is 4-6, with an ERA of 8.89, and he's given up 114 hits (17 left the yard) in those 80 frames. He's walked 54 and K'd 53 during that span, about 6 batters each per nine innings.
Though the Fish used him as a long guy last year, he's mainly a starter. And need we mention that he's out of options? Seems like a boot in the butt to Vinnie Chulk, but hey, we'll see what the suits have in mind.