Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sac Flies Drop Bucs

Sunshine, blue skies...where the heck are we? Hey, it's PNC after the monsoons!

It may have well been raining for the way Ross Ohlendorf started the first. After a strikeout, he gave up three singles. With a run in and runners at second and third, Juan Uribe looped a ball into the short center field grass to the shortstop side of second with base hit written all over it, but Neil Walker raced over and made a tumbling grab, doubling off the runner at second.

The Bucs wasted a lead off double by Garrett Jones in the second. The Giants manufactured a run in the third, when Andres Torres hit a one-out ground ball single and turned it into a triple by stealing second and third. He came in on Kung-Fu Panda's drive to left, hauled in nicely after a long run by Lastings Milledge.

In the fourth, it was the Giants turn to strand a lead-off double. It haunted them when Garrett Jones notched his eighth dinger just to the right of the hitter's eye with Neil Walker aboard, tying the game at 2-2.

The draw was short-lived. Freddy Sanchez bounced a single into left, was doubled to third by Pablo Sandoval, and scored on a medium depth Uribe sac fly.

Ohlie went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with three walks and two Ks while throwing 110 pitches. It could have been much worse; his command was missing - he seemed to be 2-0 on half the lineup - but he managed the game well enough to keep the Bucs hanging around.

The Pirates had a chance to push ahead in their half of the sixth, but just managed to tie it again. With one away and Walker and Doumit on the corners, Milledge singled home a run. A wild pitch moved them up a station, but with the infield in, Jeff Clement bounced weakly to second and Andy LaRoche struck out.

The Bucs threatened again in the seventh after Aki Iwamura smacked a pinch-hit double with one away, but McCutchen flew out and for the second time in the game, Walker hit one to the track that the park held.

DJ Carrasco worked a quiet inning, but Brendan Donnelly had a dicey eighth. After two were away, he started working behind in the count, and gave up two singles and a walk to juice the sacks - with Freddy Sanchez up. With the runners off on a 3-2 pitch, Donnelly froze Sanchez when he caught him looking at a belt-high slider.

The Pirates tried to make a little noise in their half of the frame, but Garrett Jones, who had walked, was thrown out trying to steal second with two away. Hey, bad result, but good idea.

Javier Lopez came in for the ninth, and became the Giants best bud. He dropped a perfect throw to first on a hopper to Clement, and then wild pitched the runner to second. After a fly out, a sinking liner to left ticked off Milledge's glove to give the Bay Boys the lead at 4-3. He then walked the next two hitters, one intentionally and the other on four pitches; it was tough to tell the difference.

Meek came in, but gave up the insurance run on a sac fly to left, the third the Giants hit today. The G-Men scored twice on one hit.

Brian Wilson, money in the bank with ten straight saves, came on to finish the job. He got the first two outs handily, but Ronny Cedeno singled through the right side to keep hope alive. And alive it remained, when Delwyn Young popped a 3-2 curveball over the Clemente Wall to send the game into extra innings.

It didn't last long; Octavio Dotel picked up where he left off, giving up a leadoff double followed by a wild pitch off Doumit's mitt. And natch, the next Giant hit a sac fly to give the team the lead once again.

Wilson came back to redeem himself, but after a pop single that fell between four Giants and a walk following a strikeout, he got the hook. Santiago Casilla got Milledge on a bouncer that advanced the runners, but Jeff Clement, who in five at-bats is still looking to hit a ball out of the infield, struck out on three pitches.

So Wilson got a blown save and the win, and the Bucs watched another one get away. The Pirates had the Giant infield drawn in twice and couldn't lift a ball in air; the Giants scored four of their six runs on sac flies.

One other thing that's becoming embarrassing; the G-men were 5-for-5 stealing. They all got good jumps, but not one of Doumit's throws was on the money. He's now 4-of-51 (20-of-64 last year) in gunning base stealers and allowed 19 wild pitches; that's beyond awful - and it's only the first week of June.

Dana Eveland will get his first Bucco start against Carlos Silva tomorrow afternoon in a make-up game against the Cubs. Then the team takes off to DC for Tuesday's Steven Strasburg coronation; Jeff Karstens will do the honors for Pittsburgh.

-- Talk about team chemistry: the Bucs have adopted a mustachioed look, and Ronny Cedeno, who is apparently face hair challenged, painted a 'stache under his nose with eye black.

-- Though the ball was carrying well today and fooled a couple of guys, there was some great outfield defense flashed by both clubs. Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen ran down shots, and Andres Torres and Aaron Rowland made great grabs for the G-Men.

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