Pirates Notebook: One big inning

Heading in to the bottom of the seventh inning tonight, it looked like a typical game for the Pirates. A decent start by Zach Duke, with one bad inning, mostly due to poor defense, and no offensive support to help him out.

Then the Pirates offense broke out for a big inning. And they continued. And they continued some more. The Pirates sent 11 batters to the plate before seeing the first out. They managed ten runs in the bottom of the seventh, putting Zach Duke in line for the win, and pretty much closing the door on the Rockies.

It was an amazing inning, and there’s really not much to say, although I do have a few notes:

-Brandon Moss went 2 for 3 today with two walks. Moss now has multiple hits in his last five games, is hitting .304 in the month of May, and has brought his average up to .248 on the season (it was .174 just a week ago).

-Nate McLouth is hitting .323 with 3 homers in 65 at bats since returning from an injury which sidelined him for six games. McLouth has recorded a hit in 13 of 16 games during that stretch.

-With a seven run lead, you would have thought the Pirates would bring in Tom Gorzelanny or Donald Veal. I can see not bringing in Gorzy (they probably want him pitching legit innings), but this would have been a perfect time for Veal, who last pitched on May 8th.

-How many times have we seen John Russell stay in the dugout with a questionable call in a close game, and then he comes out and argues the call on the first out in an inning where the Pirates had already scored nine runs.

-The win today for Duke puts him at 5-3. Duke won just five games in 31 starts last season. At this rate he’s on pace for 20 wins in 32 starts (although I would be happy with just 15, or even double digit wins).

The MVP Tracker

The updates to the MVP Tracker from today’s win:

-One point for Nate McLouth for the four RBIs

-One point for Delwyn Young for going 2 for 4 from the leadoff spot

-One point for Andy LaRoche. His 2 RBI double in the 7th started extending the lead for the Pirates

-One point for Brandon Moss for getting on base four out of five plate appearances. Surprisingly Moss only scored once, and didn’t have an RBI, despite reaching base more than anyone.

-One point for Zach Duke. The fourth inning was a little bad, and a little fluky, but overall Duke gave the Pirates seven innings, and got the win thanks to the outburst in the bottom of the 7th.

Other Stuff

-The Pirates placed Tyler Yates on the 15-day DL, retroactive yesterday, and brought up Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzy will pitch out of the bullpen, although I could see him getting a shot in the rotation if Karstens struggles on Tuesday, and of course if Gorzy looks good out of the pen. Karstens is the only Pirates starter with an ERA over 5.00, and joins Snell as the only starters with an ERA over 4.00. The 25-man roster page is updated with this move.

-The Pirates made two minor trades yesterday. They acquired outfielder Jeff Corsaletti from Boston, and pitcher Randy Newsom from Cleveland. Both will go to AA Altoona, and both deals will involve players to be named later, or cash considerations. Just a bunch of minor league depth moves here.

-The Draft Prospects Tracker is updated. Grant Green was the only player who played today, going 2 for 4 with a home run.

-I will be at the Washington/Pittsburgh game tomorrow, and will be doing Twitter updates from the game. You can follow the updates by subscribing to my Twitter feed. Hopefully I’ll have the live blog posted before I leave tomorrow. If that’s the case, the Twitter updates will be posted on the site, along with blogging from several other Pirates bloggers.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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