OK, the Bucs are playing an afternoon get-away game today, so we'll have to post kinda on time today; thank God for alarm clocks.
The Buccos seem to have the number of the aces they face; last night, they beat up a little on Matt Cain and then held on for dear life as they took a 6-5 win by the bay.
Paul Maholm did OK work by current Pirate standards, holding the G-Men to three runs in five innings and handing off the game to the bullpen knotted at three.
Evan Meek, who got the win, and Brendon Donnelly threw three innings and K'd five in a brilliant bit of bullpen work (although Meek did allow the tying run to score in the sixth). Together they fired 46 pitches; 35 were strikes. That's how you hold leads.
Octavio Dotel did a creditable Matt Capp impression, giving up a two-run homer in the ninth, but then dropped the remaining Giants to their knees to notch his second save.
The attack was led by Garrett Jones, who was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI. A little muscle was flexed by Aki Iwamura and Andy LaRoche, who both homered. And Andrew McCutchen reached base three times with a single and two walks, scored each time and stole two more sacks, giving him five for the young year and the NL lead.
And hey, Jones even threw a guy out at the plate; Ryan Doumit has been stalwart at defending the dish so far this year when the relay gives him a chance.
Let's hope the pitching comes around. Even with their shortcomings, this year's Bucco bunch has managed to hang around when the pitchers keep the scoring down to a half dozen runs or so. Maybe, just maybe, they're beginning to learn how to win games.
Charlie Morton goes for the Pirates this afternoon against Jonathan Sanchez.
-- Daniel McCutchen was sent down, but only figuratively. He's still with the team, serving as an insurance policy if Ross Ohlendorf's back doesn't come around soon (and it doesn't seem to be). They plan to try out Ohlie today; if he can't go, McCutchen seems likely to take his turn Saturday.
-- But do expect Brian Burres to get sent down literally today; the Pirates had to keep him on the roster until today because of some early season transaction regs. But they need another bullpen arm after the workload the starters have left the relief corps.
-- Say what you may about Kevin Hart (and GW has), he's at least got the heart to pitch. He was suspended for three games for throwing at a batter Friday in response to Brian Friday being beaned twice, and will be back on the mound today. Of course, we're assuming that it was his intention to throw behind the hitter...