Game #91 at Atlanta

Turner Field | 1:05 | Maholm vs. Buddy Carlyle | Box

The ball always finds the new guy.
This afternoon, the new guy was Jose Castillo. He’d earned just six starts at the hot corner to date this season. His seventh wasn’t lucky.
Castillo’s fifth-inning throwing error proved to provide the Braves’ winning run, and time and again he looked uncomfortable fielding the position. Since Jose Bautista will be out for the next two weeks, it’s imperative that Castillo settles in at third. Our ground ball pitchers will ensure that he gets more than his fair share of chances.
Buddy Carlyle threw eight strong innings, Edgar Renteria went 4 for 5 from the second spot in Atlanta’s order, and the Braves sunk the Pirates, 5-1.
Paul Maholm allowed two earned runs through six—another quality start—and he likely could’ve gone out for the seventh. Paul did more than enough to earn a win today, but instead he was saddled with his 12th loss.
The Pirates’ offense is bordering on pathetic. The black and gold scored in only three of 27 innings played at Turner field, reaching base just four times in the series finale.
The Bucs head home tonight and will face the Rockies and Astros this week at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pre-game Thoughts
Buddy Carlyle isn’t Tim Hudson. He isn’t even Chuck James.
Unfortunately, though, he’s been red hot:

Since getting battered by the Red Sox on June 20, Carlyle has surrendered just four earned runs and worked 18 innings. He’s an aggressive pitcher, whose consistent command has made up for his lack of dominant stuff, and the Braves have won five of the past seven starts. His final start before the break came on July 6, when he worked a career-high eight innings and limited the Padres to three runs.

In his only career appearance against the Braves, Paul Maholm went seven innings and allowed two runs. We’re going to need him to continue his run of quality starts, it seems, to have any chance of winning.
A slumping Pirate offense plus a strike-throwing opposing pitcher adds up to a long afternoon.
Ryan Doumit, the only one who’s hit anything since the All-Star break, may be in the lineup this afternoon if his hamstring is loose enough. Jose Bautista was placed on the disabled list with a laceration on his left hand, so you’d assume Jose Castillo will start at third base.
Don Kelly took Bautista’s spot on the active roster. He and Salomon Torres made the trek to Atlanta from Indianapolis. John Wasdin was designated for assignment in order to make room for Sully.

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Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

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