Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bucs Go Down 9-5

We'll make this one short and sweet. The Bucs got whupped 9-5. Give Houston credit. They had lost a franchise record dozen straight games, and just had their best hitter traded an hour or so before the game. But with the help of Pittsburgh pitching, they soldiered on and won a game.

Wandy Rodriguez got away with missing the dish last night; James McDonald didn't. He walked seven (one intentionally) in five innings and threw 110 pitches while giving up five runs. His July performance has to be a concern. In six starts covering 34-2/3 innings, he's given up 23 runs (5.97 ERA) on 36 hits with 24 walks. And if the walks aren't bad enough, he's behind in way too many counts. Ray Searage better get him in the workshop, and quick.

And if KC doesn't get traded, he has no one to blame but himself. Nothing devalues a pitcher like giving up four runs in two innings. And he's problematic if not dealt. He's a slow starter out of the gate, having given up 24 runs on 48 hits in the first two innings of the 20 games he's worked (5.40 ERA). That doesn't make him so much an ideal long man as a candidate for a DFA.

The Pirate attack was led by Garrett Jones who homered and had two RBI, as did Neil Walker. Starling Marte, Pedro Alvarez and Josh Harrison had a pair of hits apiece.

The Bucs go to Wrigley Field, where Erik Bedard will take on...well, dunno yet. It's TBA.

  • The Reds won their tenth in a row today, so Pittsburgh is 3 games back.
  • Pittsburgh has hit at least one home run in 19 straight road games, the third-longest streak in the NL during the live-ball era. The 1953 Dodgers and 2000 Astros each homered in 20 consecutive road games. The MLB record is Baltimore's 24-game run in 1996. 
  • The one guy killing the Pirates won't be around to bang away anymore.  The D-Backs traded for 3B Chris Johnson in exchange for a pair of AA hitters, Marc Krauss, a 24 year old OF/1B, and Bobby Borchering, who was Arizona's #1 pick in the 2009 draft, a 21 year old with 44 homers and 285 K since 2011 who also plays first and corner OF. Now Brad Mills knows how John Russell felt.
  • Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review tweeted that the Pirates are looking at prying OF Shin-Soo Choo, 30, from the Tribe. Likely price tag: Starling Marte. Choo is making $4.9M and has one more season of team control, entering his third arb year in 2013. Jayson Stark of ESPN cautioned earlier in the week that "Teams that have spoken with the Indians say they're willing to listen on Chris Perez and Choo, but they're very unlikely to deal either player unless they get blown away." 
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN said that the Padres are likely to keep Chase Headley if the ante doesn't get bumped. That fits in with other reports that say he's more likely to be moved in the off season, although it could be a team ploy, too.
  • Kevin Correia told Tom Singer of that he hopes to be dealt by the trade deadline. Not too surprising, considering he's riding a six game winning streak and hasn't lost a game since June 13th even with a 4.24 ERA and some scary peripherals. Singer added that KC did not "go to the media" to raise a fuss, but was just answering a question during an interview. Still, a sorta bush league way of handling his discontent, especially during a pennant chase.

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