Game #54 vs. Los Angeles
PNC Park | 7:05 | Duke vs. Randy Wolf | Box
Newly installed closer Matt Capps didn’t get a chance to pitch in this one. Zach Duke gave up five earned runs in six innings pitched, and the Dodger bullpen made a one-run lead hold up over the last four frames. A Russ Martin solo shot in the fifth provided the margin of victory as Chad Billingsley, Joe Beimel and Takashi Saito shut down the streaky Pirates offense.
I thought that we might see Ryan Doumit in the outfield tonight, but Jim Tracy went instead with Chris Duffy. It looked at first like a move that might bite our skipper in the behind—and it may have, as Duffy left three men on base—but he did triple off the right field wall to drive home two. His 1 for 5 performance lowered his average to .240.
Jason Bay doubled in Jose Bautista in the first inning. Freddy Sanchez probably should’ve scored on the play, too—he went back to second to tag up on a ball that was over Juan Pierre’s head—and the Pirates’ announcers were rightfully upset at the baserunning blunder. “To not score from second on an extra-base hit is beyond belief,” said Rocco DeMaro on FM NewsTalk 104.7’s post-game show.
I personally didn’t understand why Randy Wolf would give Jason Bay a pitch to hit with runners on second and third and one out. If I were Grady Little, I’d rather face Nady with the bases loaded. Still … Freddy has to score on that play. With two outs, there is little to gain from being on third rather than second. You go half way and score if the ball drops, retreat if it doesn’t.
The Pirates are now a season-low eight games under .500.
AP recap in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Randy got us through May in one piece. The June game threads are mine. I suppose that means I have to start paying attention again.
If during Spring Training you had told me the Pirates would be in second place today, I would have assumed that they were playing good baseball. Still, we’re not last. Count your blessings.
Be afraid of the big, bad Wolf. On April 20, Randy Wolf threw 6 IP against the Pirates, allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run and 1 walk while striking out 10. Jim Tracy employed the bash brothers outfield—Bay, Nady and Eldred from left to right. It’s safe to assume Nady will start over Duffy this evening.
The Dodgers are a good baseball team. At 31-22, they’re currently tied with the Padres and Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West. Only the Mets have a better record in the National League.
The four-game series concludes on Monday. The Dodgers will throw Hong-Chih Kuo, Brad Penny and Derek Lowe against Snell, Gorzelanny and Maholm.
Press pass notes are available.