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Game #90 at Atlanta

Turner Field | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. Chuck James | Box

Even with a heroic comeback led by Ryan Doumit (thanks in large part to a managerial blunder from Bobby Cox), the Pirates couldn’t pull this one out. Atlanta won in walk-off fashion, 5-4.
Chuck James owned the Pirates, throwing six innings of two-hit ball. On the season, he’s pitched 13 frames against us and allowed three hits.
Still, Cox pulled James after the sixth in favor of Tyler Yates. James had thrown 95 pitches but didn’t appear to be in any trouble—and the Braves were leading, 4-0. No one understood Cox’ reasoning when the move was made.
Then this happened:

Pirates seventh: Yates pitching. Nady grounded out, shortstop Renteria to first baseman Saltalamacchia. Bay walked on a full count. Castillo singled to right, Bay to second. Paulino infield single to third, Bay to third, Castillo to second. On C.Jones’ error, Bay scored, Castillo to third, Paulino to second. Wilson struck out. Doumit pinch-hitting for Gorzelanny. Soriano pitching. Harris in as left fielder. Doumit homered to center on a full count, Castillo scored, Paulino scored. McLouth pinch-hitting for Davis. McLouth struck out.

When Soriano came in to face Doumit, I said “he’s going to get a fastball, and he’s going to murder it.” Sure enough, 4-4, and James’ dominance was only a distant memory. Thanks for the crooked number, Bobby.
After a 72-minute rain delay, however, the Pirates managed to let another winnable game slip away. Shawn Chacon took the loss.
Recaps
Pirates.com
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SI.com
Pre-game Thoughts
An excerpt from Randy’s recap the last time Chuck James faced the Pirates:

Umm, yeah. This one was terrible. It was whitewash early on as Tony Armas only got out six guys. Marty McLeary, who hadn’t pitched in over a week, pitched four innings of solid baseball to help out.
But Chuck James pitched seven innings of one hit ball to stop the offense and hold Ryan Doumit hitless and halt his hitting streak. James was perfect through five and carried his no-no into the seventh.

As MLB.com notes, that was James’ “finest outing” of the first half.
Doumit won’t be in the starting lineup tonight—he’s nursing a weak hamstring—so if Tracy wants to load up against the lefty, he’ll be forced to use Rajai Davis. I’m a fan of playing Nady in center against southpaws, be we just don’t have the personnel available to make it work right now.
Gorzelanny hasn’t pitched against Atlanta in his short career. The Braves are 17-23 against left-handed starters, though, as compared to 31-19 against righties. I suppose we should hope for a low scoring affair.
The Press Pass notes are available.

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  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates/ Randy Linville

    Chuck James has given up two hits through five innings. Both are doubles, but nobody has scored. Good grief.

  • http://mvn.com/mlb-pirates/ Randy Linville

    I mean nobody on the Bucs has scored.

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