The first inning of the last game of 2010 didn't start out pretty; the Bucs went out 1-2-3 against Anibal Sanchez, and the Fish plated a pair against Brian Burres on an Osvaldo Martinez triple and Dan Uggla homer.
Pittsburgh turned things around a bit in the second; Ronny Cedeno belted a solo shot, and the Marlins went down in order. Both sides went down without a peep in the third.
There was some action in the fourth; Garrett Jones hit a two-out double for the Bucs, and the Fish got a couple of runners aboard via walks, but there was no additional damage.
The Pirates tied it in the fifth. With one out, Andy LaRoche walked and went to third on a Jason Jaramillo single that was mishandled in center. Burres struck out trying to bunt, but McCutch came through, legging out a RBI infield single. BB beaned the first batter the Fish sent up, but nailed the next three hitters.
The Bucs drew a Neil Walker leadoff walk, but he stayed there. Florida came up with a run on two singles, one off of LaRoche's glove, and a two-out ground rule double by Wes Helms that was originally ruled a homer but overturned on review. The change of heart saved the Bucs a couple of runs and got Marlin manager Edwin Rodriguez ejected. Chris Leroux came on to get the final out.
Burke Badenhop took the ball in the seventh and got the Bucs out cleanly. Sean Gallagher replaced Leroux, and gave the Fish a pair of gift-wrapped runs.
A one-out walk to Emilio Bonifacio was followed by a ground ball single to right by Martinez that Dewey threw away, aiming for third but launching one into the dugout; Bonifacio scored and Martinez went to third. He came in an out later when Uggla's smash deflected off Walker's mitt and died in short right for a double. It was now 5-2, Fish.
Leo Nunez took the hill for Florida, and got the Bucs in order. Wil Ledezema worked the eighth briefly; he gave up a single and a walk before Steve Jackson came on. We're a bit curious what exactly JR was saving Chris Resop, Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek for, but hey... Anyway, Jackson got out of it; a sac bunt, a walk, and a 6-4-3 cleaned up the mess.
Clay Hensley came on for the Fish. Jones got an via an error to start things, then he mowed down the last three hitters.
Just another typical road game. And now it's official - Go Steelers!
- For the finale, JR gave Andy LaRoche the start at third, Jason Jaramillo did the catching, and Dewey was back patrolling right field. Pedro, Chris Snyder, and John Bowker got a seat. Pedro's was expected; he was hobbling after last night's game, and is said to have a hyperextended right knee. It's minor, and he could pinch hit if needed, but it's too stiff for him to play the field.
-- For some reason, Ronny Cedeno wore the Bucs' Latino jersey to start the game, the one that says "Piratas" instead of "Pittsburgh." He changed it after he hit his homer; GW would have to have it torn off his back after that.
-- The Pirates finished with a 17-64 road record, tied with the 1963 Mets for the worst ever during an 81 game away schedule. The 105 losses is the most since 1952.
-- With Brian Burres' loss today, no Pirate starter had a winning (or even .500) record. Four bullpen guys did, led by Joel Hanrahan's 4-1 mark.
-- This is the first time in franchise history that the Bucs have had two rookies with 10+ homers and 60+ RBI the same season: Pedro has 16/64 and Neil Walker has 12/66. In the quest to have two rookies hit .300, both Jose Tabata (.299) and Neil Walker (.296) fell short with 0-fers today.
-- Neal Huntington didn't give a vote of confidence to any of the current coaching staff when interviewed by the beat guys - except for Ray Searage, who he spoke highly of. Sounds like one coach has a chance of making it into next year. And if JR goes, as expected, the hot list of managerial candidates this year seems to be Bobby Valentine, Tim Wallach and Ted Simmons.
-- An update on the injured Bucco pitchers: Kevin Hart is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. Jose Ascanio should be ready to play in the second half of the winter ball season. Donnie Veal is on track for a midseason return in 2011.