Holy Green Weenie! The pitching, which was so horrendous a week or so ago, suddenly looks like the Dodgers of the mid-sixties.
It may have taken until July, but Ross Ohlendorf finally earned his first W, and in grand style. He threw seven innings of shut-out ball as the Bucs blanked the Phils 2-0 tonight.
Ohlie gave up five hits, beaned a batter, and gave up one intentional walk while whiffing eight. Joel Hanrahan and Octavio Dotel iced the game with two perfect frames, using just 20 pitches to dispatch Philly.
Now there's no question Pittsburgh caught the Brotherly Love nine at a good time, with Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, and Placido Polanco on the DL. Still, surrendering one earned run in eighteen innings is pretty dang good against any MLB order.
The Phillies threatened against Ohlie just once, in the sixth. Raul Ibanez doubled with one out and went to third on a wild pitch. With two away, Ryan Howard was intentionally walked. The 30,339 in the stands held their breath when Ben Francisco hit a quail into right, but Lastings Milledge made another Thrilledge diving catch.
The Pirates did their little bit of damage against Father Time, 47 year-old Jamie Moyer, in the fourth. Andrew McCutchen led off with a single, but Garrett Jones and Milledge went down on swinging strikeouts.
Ryan Doumit dribbled a tweaker between the hill and the foul line for a single, and Bobby Crosby walked. Andy LaRoche dinked a swinging bunt into the same area as Dewey's seeing-eye hit.
Moyer rushed the play and overthrew first, bringing home Doumit from second after McCutchen scored from third. It was ruled a single and an error, and that was all she wrote for tonight.
And it's a good thing the Bucs took advantage of the breaks; Moyer went six innings, giving up five hits, walking two, and striking out eight. His bullpen was perfect afterward, too.
So it's three in a row for the Buccos. Imagine if they decide to hit the ball the second half of the season.
Kyle Kendrick and Paul Maholm will work tomorrow night.
-- Tonight was the third consecutive game a Pirate starting pitcher recorded his first win of the season, with Ohlie winning tonight, Daniel McCutchen on Thursday and Brad Lincoln on Wednesday. That might happen a lot in April, but not very often in June/July.
-- Let the rumors fly. Ed Price of MLB Fanhouse reports that "The Marlins -- who have used 18 relievers, most in the majors -- have inquired about Pirates closer Octavio Dotel, according to a major league source."
-- Zach Duke is slated for a pair of rehab starts at Altoona, starting Monday. If he gets through that OK, he'll be set to rejoin the rotation after the All-Star break.
-- Charlie Morton came off the DL and was optioned to Indy, the logical move for the troubled righty at this point of his career.
-- Steve Pearce has sat the past couple of games with a sore left knee; if it doesn't clear up soon, he'll have a MRI. Pearce has got a bad case of the Wally Pipp syndrome right about now.
-- Good news on the injury front. OF Starling Marte, who just had hamate surgery six weeks ago, will begin a one-week rehab assignment with the GCL Pirates tomorrow. If all goes well, he’ll advance to Class A Bradenton next. He won't even have to pack a bag, either.
-- The Phillies released ol' Bucco Josh Fogg, who they had signed just before the season started and assigned to AAA Reading.