Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let It Snow...

Hey, GW will quit his griping about April showers now. The Bucs went to Mile High City and played the Rockies in late-inning snow. Played pretty darn well, too, taking a 3-0 win in Clint Hurdle's return to the old stompin' grounds.

Practically everything GW likes to see, he saw tonight. The attack was sickly again (10 Ks), but two of the six hits left the yard. McCutch quit trying to pull everything, took a pitch away to the opposite field and easily cleared the 375' mark. Then Garrett Jones dropped one inside the right field pole, helped by a stiff right-to-left breeze at Coors.

Ronny Cedeno had a clutch two-out triple to plate Pedro, and two-out Bucco lightning is our favorite weather forecast. More importantly, he made a pair of nifty plays, one from the hole and the other up the middle.

Jose Tabata crashed into the wall to take away a double. The scoreboard read zero errors for the Pirates, a big factor in the zero runs Colorado scored.

Not as big a factor, of course, as the Pittsburgh pitching. Kevin Correia shook off his last start and went 6-2/3 frames giving up three hits, a walk, and whiffing four. Jose Veras, Chris Resop and Joel Hanrahan kept the zeroes comin', giving up two hits and K'ing five without a walk over 2-1/3 frames.

For Hanny, it was save #8 in 8 opportunities. And this may be the best Pirate bullpen since 2007, with enough depth to cover Evan Meek's slow start.

Paul Maholm faces Jason Hammel in tomorrow's game.

-- The Bucs got their first road shutout of Colorado tonight; it took them 74 games to finally goose egg the Rox at Coors/Mile High.

-- Kevin Correia became the first Pirate pitcher to win 4 games in April since Jeff Suppan in 2003. Before that, the last four-game winners were Zane Smith and Randy Tomlin in 1992.

-- The suits have finally got some power arms to man the back of the bullpen. Jose Veras has 17 K's in 10-1/3 innings, Chris Resop 15 in 14-1/3, Evan Meek 8 in 8, and Joel Hanrahan 12 in 14 frames. Heck, even the bridge guys are piling up the K's - Joe Beimel has 5 in 4-2/3 innings and Mike Crotta 7 in 10.

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