Game #43 vs. Arizona

PNC Park | 1:35 | Maholm vs. Randy Johnson | Box
Randy Johnson struck out 10 and then got some help from the bullpen. After a shaky start that saw him give up a run in the first, the Unit rebounded to notch his first win at PNC Park.
Paul Maholm was the loser, giving another subpar performance. The Pirates had just seven hits and no walks. Jack Wilson made a pinch hitting appearance, his first game time in a couple of days, and struck out.
If there’s any good news about this game it’s that Jonah Bayliss and Damaso Marte combined on four scoreless inning in relief of Maholm.
Brad Eldred was seen picking splinters out of his sliding pants.
Recaps
AP recap at Yahoo! Sports

Pre-game thoughts
Paul Maholm will go for the Bucs. He’s made two career starts against the D-backs and has no decisions. In the land of small sample size, Eric Byrnes, Conor Jackson and the disabled Chad Tracy all have three hits off Maholm in 4, 5, and 6 ABs respectively.
The Unit is 8-5 vs Pittsburgh all-time. Including 6 complete games and three shutouts. That includes an 0-2 mark at PNC. He doesn’t have much experience against the current crop of Pirates. Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and Jack Wilson have all homered off him.
Bay’s and Wilson’s homers came in the same game. That would be August 25, 2004 when Johnson gave up only three hits and two runs but lost to Josh Fogg because of the aforementioned round trippers.
Joe Starkey reports that Chris Duffy’s career is at a crossroads. Hey, wait a minute. I thought his career was at a crossroads last year when he was demoted and refused to report. Just how many crossroads can one career have? We need some kind of limit on crossroads per player. Duffy’s hogging them.
Press pass notes right here.
In-game Thoughts
Freddy Sanchez leading off. Xavier Nady in CF and hitting cleanup. The Ryan Doumit in RF and Adam LaRoche. I figured on seeing Nate McLouth again after his three hits yesterday with Doumit behind the dish and Nady in right.
Nice start. Maholm went 1-2-3 and Nady hit a two out double on an 8 pitch AB to score Jose Bautista who had singled and stolen second. The Unit did strike out the side.
Snakes got to Maholm for a pair in the third. Two singles, then a passed ball, then a sac fly capped with another single. It’s 2-1 Arizona and Johnson has retired the last seven Pirates in order.
Oh no, Maholm gave up three in the fourth even after Eric Byrnes was caught stealing following a lead off double. Chris Snyder who was batting less than .200 entering the game had a bases loaded double that scored all three runners. The Unit has now retired 10 in a row.
Saturday Night Thoughts
I’m calling it right now: Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of the non-wood racket era. Can’t wait for the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

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  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates Cory Humes

    … Eldred and McLeary down, Cota up. Another move will be made in time for Tuesday’s game at St. Louis.
    Probably a good move, all things considered. Eldred needs regular ABs to be effective, and he wasn’t earning them in Pittsburgh.

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