Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bucs, Burnett Pummeled 12-3

Well, now you can see why the pundits bemoaned the Buccos ability to take advantage of good pitching in the early going, because it's sure gone south in the past couple of days.

AJ Burnett started the evening like he did the last time he faced the Cards by allowing the first three runner to reach. Unlike that outing, St. Louis didn't let him off the hook, and smoked balls all around Busch Stadium to romp over Pittsburgh 12-3.

Heck, it was 12-1 before Burnett left in the third, and Carlos Beltran probably shed a tear when Brad Lincoln climbed the bump. Beltran, who was in the midst of a 3-for-32 slump, had two homers and a career-high seven RBI before AJ's departure; only two Pirates players have seven RBIs so far this season. 

In fact, it was only the second time in Pirate hisory that a starter gave up a dozen runs. The last time was in 1932, when Glenn Spencer was roughed up by the Cubs - and it took them eight innings to put their runs together.

You want to talk an ugly line: Burnett went 2-2/3 frames, giving up a dozen runs on a dozen hits with a walk and beaned batter while whiffing a pair. The Bucco bullpen calmed things down, as Brad Lincoln, Chris Resop, Juan Cruz and Jason Grilli put up zeroes the rest of the way, but it was for naught and not exactly the way you want to burn through your relievers.

The Bucs hopefully got it out of their system. The most heated action was in the second, when Rod Barajas got the boot for complaining about a non-strike call by Angel Campos who has had a tough couple of days. Barajas flipped his face mask toward the heavens when he was thumbed, and Clint Hurdle, maybe having a premonition of what was about to happen, came out to protect his player and was run, too. The umping this series has been pretty bad (for both sides), and the Pirates, being on the short end, had more frustrations to work out.

The Cards Lance Lynn won his fifth game, holding the Pirates to two runs on three hits in 6-2/3 frames. The Bucco bright spots at the dish were Pedro Alvarez, who had a pair of hits, a walk and three runs scored, and Josh Harrison, who had two RBI knocks.

Hey, mama said there would be days like this. Now let's hope the starting pitching is just having an inevitable burp. Erik Bedard will try to salvage a game this afternoon against Jake Westwood.

  • The Redbirds lead the NL in runs scored with 135. The Bucs are last in the majors with 68. St. Louis has outscored Pittsburgh 31-14 in their five games.
  • 1B Nick Evans has a broken hand that was surgically repaired. SS Chase d'Arnaud is still out with a concussion.
  • Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects discusses whether LHP Rudy Owens has regained his status as a legit prospect.


WilliamJPellas said...

Owens, to me, is at best a Paul Maholm clone---except that he doesn't have Maholm's SEC pedigree. I also maintain that Paul was a significantly better pitcher than his raw numbers show, but his numerous injuries on the one hand, and the mostly horrible Pirates teams for which he toiled on the other hand....anyway, Owens can probably be a fairly effective 3-4 starter in the bigs IF he can stay healthy. Control pitchers with otherwise average stuff can certainly help you, but what we absolutely cannot have is another repeat engagement of the Maholm And Duke Show: guys who have little margin for error to start with, then pitch well in spurts, then get chronically hurt, then keep going out and getting blasted because their edge is gone. No, thank you, unless Owens can stay healthy and pitch at close to 100%.

Ron Ieraci said...

I agree, Will, that he probably projects as a four pitcher. Still, nice to see him rebound this year after a pretty poor peformance in AAA last season.