I will admit I had all but given up. My headline a few minutes ago read ‘Late Brewer Homers are the Difference.’ I was putting the finishing touches on my sometimes insightful, always poignant commentary. I was ready to click on the ‘publish’ button. All Milwaukee needed was another three outs. They came, but after a few too many Buccos crossed the plate. The losing streak is over. Hooray!
Lineups: Pirates: 1. Andrew McCutchen, CF2. Andy LaRoche, 3B3. Lastings Milledge, LF4. Garrett Jones, RF5. Ryan Doumit, C6. Jeff Clement, 1B7. Akinori Iwamura, 2B8. Jeff Karstens, P9. Ronny Cedeno, SS Brewers: 1. Rickie Weeks, 2B2. Craig Counsell, SS3. Ryan Braun, LF4. Prince Fielder, 1B5. Casey McGehee, 3B6. Jim Edmonds, CF7. Corey Hart, RF8. George Kottaras, C9. Randy Wolf, P...
In an effort to ignore the new level of misery that the Pirates’ pitching staff sinks to on a daily basis, I will take a moment to focus on just how bad the team’s offense has been. Click for a visual look at the team’s offensive 2010 offense.
As expected, the Pirates have called up righty�Jeff Karstens from Indianapolis to help them with their pitching woes. �Karstens will have to be added to the 40-man roster — he was removed from it back in November. �Over the past few weeks, Karstens had made 4 relief appearances for the Indy Indians, �for a total of 11 innings, allowing 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits. �He also made one start, last Thursday, and pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits.
In order to make room, Rule 5 Draft pick OF John Raynor has been designated for assignment. �If Raynor clears waivers, he will have to be offered back to the Marlins. �The Pirates are hoping they can work out a deal to keep him, like they did for Evan Meek a couple of years ago.
One late morning/early afternoon game today:
West Virginia Power 6, �Kannapolis Intimidators 1 (box)
The Power won the series over Kannapolis 3 games to one with today’s early-bird win. �Gabriel Alvarado made the start for the Power, and pitched 4 solid innings, allowing one run on 3 hits and 2 walks. �The run he gave up was a lead-off homer to Kannapolis RF Nicholas Ciolli, to begin the 2nd inning. �Alvarado worked around a base runner in each inning, but did not allow any of those batters to score. �He struck out one and erased one of the runners with a double play. �Ciolli had another hit off Alvarado in the 4th, and a third hit off Zach Foster in the 8th, accounting for 3 of Kannapolis’ 4 hits.
The Power answered the run in the bottom of the 2nd with 3 runs on 3 doubles in the top of the 3rd. �CF Evan Chambers walked with one out, and moved to third base when LF David Rubinstein doubled. �3B Jesus Brito brought Chambers in with a sacrifice fly. �Back-to-back doubles by 1B Aaron Baker and DH Rogelios Noris plated two more runs, giving the Power a 3-1 lead.
The Power were quiet over the next four innings, getting only one hit — a single by Aaron Baker, who was then caught stealing second base. �In the 8th, they utilized singles and errors instead of doubles to do their scoring. �With one out, Rubinstein and Brito both singled, and when the Kannapolis centerfielder made a fielding error, Rubinstein was able to make it all the way around to score. �Brito was left on second base, and a wild pitch moved him up to third. �Baker singled next, scoring Brito, and another fielding error, this one in left field, put Baker on third base. �Noris lifted a sacrifice fly, and Baker came in with the third run of the inning. �Power up, 6-1.
Duke Welker relieved Alvarado for the 5th inning. �He walked three and struck out three (S,W,W, S,W,S), but gave up no hits or runs. �In the eyes of the official scorer, that earned him his first win of the season. �Maurice Bankston pitched the next two innings and allowed only a walk. �Zach Foster gave up a walk and Ciolli’s third hit in the 8th, but left both runners on base, then retired the side in order to finish up the 9th.