Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buc Bats Still Stymied

Well, talk about a buzz kill. Nothing like losing five out of six during the first home stand of the season to take the wind out of the fans' sails.

The Bucs banged out four more knocks tonight, making it eight hits in two games against the Brewers. But hey, they did finally score (on a two-out wild pitch), although it took twenty-three innings to do it, dating back to the fourth inning of the Rox finale.

Tonight they lost 4-1. Paul Maholm pitched a strong game, even though it looked like he wouldn't make it out of the first frame when deuces were wild.

He gave up two singles, two walks and two runs in the opening frame; he also had two Ks. But after that brutal start, he spun six shut-out innings, giving up just two hits and a walk in that span. PM's line was a solid seven innings, two runs on four hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. His ERA after three games is 2.33; his record is 0-2.

Randy Wolf made the Pirates look like T-ballers. He lasted 6-2/3 innings, yielding three hits while giving up two walks and whiffing ten Buccos. Those five runners? Four reached base as the leadoff batter; the other was a one-out double. And not a one of them got further than second base. That's a pretty serious amount of wasted at-bats.

It stayed 2-0 until the ninth, when Milwaukee scored a pair off Joel Hanrahan, sandwiching an infield single/Neil Walker throw-away between two doubles.

Nyjer Morgan provided a little comic relief when he fell on his way to a triple and was caught in a run down. Plate ump Adrian Johnson provided some more with a baffling array of ball and strike calls, leading to a jawing match between he and Hanny, and then Clint Hurdle.

Must have fired up the Bucs; two walks, a single and a wild pitch plated a run and brought the tying run to the plate with two away. But that run was represented by Josh Rodriguez, who struck out for the fifth time in eight at-bats, bringing back memories of Brian Bixler's deer-in-the-headlights plate appearances.

-- The Pirates paid attendance was 10,517; the gate attendance was probably half that number - and the Pens weren't on tonight.

-- Paul Maholm became the 39th pitcher in club history to throw 1,000 or more innings in a Bucco uniform. He's tossed 1000-2/3 innings for Pittsburgh as of tonight.

-- The Pirates struck out 14 times tonight; in a dozen games, they've K'ed 105 times. The average MLB team scores 4.5 runs/game; the Pirates score three. In other words, the hitting is pretty bad. Too soon to take to the bridge, but it does crack open the door for some Indy guys looking for a June job.

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