Monday, April 29, 2013

Curse Continues; Brew Crew Bomb Five Homers in 10-4 Win

Well, so much for sending a message. Wandy's wonderful ride came crashing to earth in the Spanish Inquisition dungeon known as Miller Park.

The Bucs scored first. Starling Marte drew an opening walk off Yovani Gallardo, went to third on a Russell Martin knock and scored on a Cutch groundout. Then Milwaukee batted, and it went downhill quickly. Three hits (including a Jean Segura homer) and four walks later, it was 5-1 Brew Crew. The cause wasn't helped by a Clint Barmes bobble of a DP ball. The Bucs added another run in the third on an error and Gaby double.

Back-to-back homers by Gallardo and Norichika Aoki in the fourth made it 7-2, and Clint Hurdle called on Jonathan Sanchez, who closed the inning out. What the heck; Rodriguez went 3-2/3 giving up seven runs on six hits and four walks with two K, so how much worse could he be?

Actually, he wasn't, although he wasn't exactly sharp. Sanchez gave up two runs in 2-1/3 frames on four hits and four whiffs. Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky Betancourt went back-to-back off him in the fifth, though he did rear back the next inning to strand an opening triple.

Jared Hughes worked an inning; he gave up a leadoff triple, but without Sanchez's fortune - it came in a batter later. Vin Mazzaro worked a quiet inning. Garrett Jones saved a little face by mashing a two-run shot following a Cutch knock in the eighth to make the final 10-4.

Well, Wandy showed what happens when you hang a lot of curves to MLB hitters, and we're assuming that Jose Contreras' imminent arrival will spell the end of Sanchez's star-crossed Bucco career. It could be worse; the Reds beat the Cards, so the Bucs are still 1/2 game in the Central lead going into tomorrow's games. J-Mac takes the bump tomorrow against Marco Estrada.

  • The last pitcher to homer against Pittsburgh was *tada* Yovani Gallardo in September of last year, off Chris Leroux at Miller Park. Deja vu all over again. The Buc staff has surrendered 10 homers in the past two games at Milwaukee.
  • Starling Marte's eight game hitting streak ended tonight.
  • Odd stat: the Pirates are 2-7 in series openers, and 13-4 in all the other games. They've lost five straight series debuts, yet come back to win three of the series and split the other; with this one TBD.
  • The Bucs have homered in five straight games and in 10-of-12.
  • Milwaukee is 70-24 against Pittsburgh since 2007, and 45-7 at Miller Park.
  • Russell Martin was named the NL Player of the Week after hitting .375 with two doubles, four home runs, six RBI and posting a .958 slugging %.
  • Jeanmar Gomez will start Wednesday against the Brewers. Jonathan Sanchez remains in the pen, and his suspension appeal will be heard on Friday. Whether he'll still be a member of the team by then is problematic.
  • The Bucs were bumped off TV on Friday, May 3rd and Tuesday, May 7th by the Pens. Both are home games, against Washington and Seattle, and aren't expected to be picked up elsewhere. 
  • At Indy, Andy Oliver went six frames, allowing one run on four hits and two walks with seven punchouts in a 3-2 victory. Stolmy Pimentel tossed for Altoona. going seven scoreless frames while giving up six hits and a walk with five K in the Curve's 2-0 win. West Virginia's Stetson Allie hit homers 7 & 8 and drove in five runs as the Power won 10-2.

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