Thursday, April 8, 2010

Two In A Row; Eighty More To Go

OK, OK, Green Weenie has been slow on the post. Hey, we tried to stay up and watch the Pirates stagger home to victory, but last night, the sandman won. He pitched a better game than Ross Ohlendorf.

Hey, even though the Bucs are streaking, it's not exactly been compelling baseball so far against the Dodgers. And GW is definitely way too old school to appreciate the Mardi Gras breaking out at home plate after a walk off single; he comes from the "act like you've done it before" generation.

Still, a little life after a win is not a bad thing, and the star-crossed cast from Pittsburgh may finally be finding ways to win games after spending a couple of decades losing them in every manner possible.

And a crowd of 31,000 for the night game following the opener? Well, we're impressed. Maybe all the juice hasn't been squeezed out of the region's baseball fans yet.

Yesterday's game story is pretty simple. Garrett Jones clobbered a three-run homer in the first, and the Dodgers, ever the opportunists, cashed in a trio of tallies in the fifth thanks to a wide throw by Andy LaRoche (who also made a couple of very nice plays) followed by a couple of hits.

The Pirates left the bases loaded in the fifth; the Dodgers returned the favor when they left a runner on third with no outs in the ninth. Then Ronny Cedeno, in a nine-pitch at-bat, lined a shot over a drawn-in infield to score Lastings Milledge, and the party at the dish commenced.

But the Pirates aren't quite the 1927 Yankees. Neither Zach Duke nor Ohlendorf was particularly sharp, but they were both gamers and managed their innings quite nicely, even if surrounded by opposing runners most of the time.

The bullpen ran through more raindrops than Gene Kelly, but again, the game is decided by runs, not runners.

The offense? Well, someone better hose Garrett Jones off; three homers and six RBI in ten at-bats is sizzlin'. Andrew McCutchen has adapted to the two hole; he's hitting .444 as is the nine hitter, Ronny Cedeno, who looks like he just may make GW swallow some crow.

So's Ryan Doumit; two of his four hits have been for extra bases, and in the early going, he's been a good if unorthodox fit at clean-up.

Aki Iwamura doesn't have a hit yet, but he's taken eight of his ten at-bats to three balls, wearing down the pitcher and giving the rest of the order a good peek at the stuff they'll be looking at.

The fielding has been a bit better than expected, with some flashes of brilliance followed by moments of high comedy; but all-in-all, it's been steady enough for its nineteen innings.

Paul Maholm will try to beat the Dodgers and the rain today at 12:35.

No comments: