Friday, May 21, 2010

Bucs Slow Roasted

Ugh, what a snail-paced game. Paul Maholm and Chris Narveson were mirror images of each other, pitching at a pace that would bore a sloth to tears and filling up the plate with junk, junk, and more junk with an occasional show-me heater tossed in.

In fact, Narveson threw 112 pitches; 71 for strikes in his six frames, while Maholm threw 111, 70 for strikes, in his seven inning stint.

The Bucs scored three times in the first, keyed by Steve Pearce's two-run triple. And that would be it.

Maholm's biggest enemies were walks and inches. He walked three, and two scored on hits that were inches away from being outs. McCutchen missed taking Corey Hart's triple off the wall by a ball's width, and George Kottaras' two-bagger ticked of Pearce's mitt.

Both balls were smoked, but tantalizingly close to being noisy outs instead of run producers. As is, they each drove in a guy that walked and eventually came in on small ball groundouts. The Brew Crew only had five hits against the Bucco arms.

The Pirates seven hits didn't exactly light up Narveson or the remade Brewer pen, either. They had just one knock from the fifth inning onward. The best op they had they ran themselves out of in classic little-league style.

Lastings Milledge led off the Pirates' fifth with a double, but he was caught in a rundown on Bobby Crosby's roller to the mound. To the mound! Crosby made it to second on the play, but when he was off to the races on Andrew McCutchen's grounder into the shortstop hole, he was easily gunned at third.

And with McCutch running, it was entirely probable to have a first-and-second, one out situation for Garrett Jones and Pearce; instead it fizzled into a two-away, runner on first ho-hummer. Oops, there goes another promising inning. Once bitten, twice shy isn't the Pittsburgh way.

GW knows he harps on it early and often, but every series, one game seems to be lost because of fundamental errors and another won in spite of them. The biggest part of playing the game right is to, well, play the game right. Right?

Ross Ohlendorf faces off against Tim Hudson tonight against the Braves and Nate the Great's Pittsburgh homecoming.

-- Brendan Donnelly is back, and much to everyone's surprise, it was Jack Taschner that dropped off the roster. He's on the 15 day DL with a tight hammy; who knew? JT is due back June 2nd. We're hoping Donnelly will take his place as a mid-inning guy out of the pen and not as a back-ender.

-- David Golebiewski of FanGraphs has a piece about the maturation process of Evan Meek.

-- Chris Jakubauskas has resumed throwing long-toss after a successful procedure relieved his vertigo symptoms last week.

-- Hey, yesterday we posted an article regarding JR's status as an about-to-be canned coach; today Gene Collier of the Post Gazette says it's time to sign the quiet man to an extension.

-- FOX's "This Week in Baseball" will feature the Buccos at noon on Saturday. The theme of the show is the Pirates' youth movement with segments on McClutch and Ohlie.

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