Apparently pitching in a 40 MPH windstorm at Dodger Stadium is easier than it looks. The Pirates and Dodgers collected a mere nine hits last night, and the Bucs rode a first inning, two-run, two-out triple by Garrett Jones to a 2-0 victory.
Clayton Kenshaw walked Lastings Milledge and Andy LaRoche to open the game; they would both score on Jone's hit that scooted under Matt Kemp's glove and rolled to the wall.
After that, well, not much of anything. The LA nine had a couple or three chances, but couldn't come up with the clutch hit. Brian Burres lasted 5-1/3 frames and got the win. He was backed by hitless work from relievers Jack Taschner and Evan Meek, who got the save.
Nice move by JR to bring on Meek instead of Octavio Dotel. Dotel was just keeping somebody's seat warm, and it's time to find out if it's Meek's or not.
We doubt that this early in the season it will become a habit, though. Dotel, Brendan Donnelly, and Joel Hanrahan had the day off after being workhorses in the Milwaukee series.
Pittsburgh is 10-12 now, after three wins in a row following the week of infamy. Who knew the answer was going to be Jeff Karstens and Brian Burres? Charlie Morton is going tonight; if he gets a win, then GW knows the team has turned the corner.
-- JR the mad scientist is at it again. He batted Lastings Milledge leadoff and replaced Aki Iwamura with Bobby Crosby; he wanted to go more righty against Clayton Kershaw. It worked pretty well in the first inning.
-- Rough year for RHP Kevin Hart. Now he's on the minor league DL for right bicep tendinitis. He'll have more tests, but it's not thought to be serious.
-- Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors takes a quick look at Pittsburgh's 2011 contract situation. One guy has an option, three become free agents, and eleven are arbitration-eligible.
-- The Pirates signed C James Skelton in what looks like an organizational depth move. Skelton was claimed from the Tigers in the 2008 Rule 5 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He didn't make the roster, but Arizona worked out a trade for him, ala Evan Meek.
They released him after the 2009 season, when he was picked up by Philly, and then released again. Good stick, good D, versatile player, no power.
-- Did you know Pitt baseball was nationally ranked and a Big East contender this season? Pitt-U Conn is here this weekend with first place on the line. Paul Zeise of the Post Gazette has the story.