Game 29 Recap: Early Runs Aid McDonald’s Strong Effort

The Cincinnati Reds have been plagued by giving up first inning runs. Tonight their former ace, Aaron Harang now pitching for San Diego, was troubled by the same problem. Harang gave up a pair of two run bombs in the first inning as the Padres fell into an early hole from which they couldn’t escape. The two worst offenses in the National League did battle. With those early runs, the Pirates got all the scoring they would need....

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Game 24 Recap: McDonald Gets Going

James McDonald tossed six plus innings of shutout baseball and the Pirates offense got just enough as the Pirates blanked San Francisco 2-0. It wasn’t all that pretty, but McDonald was effective. San Francisco had at least one runner on base in every inning except the eighth. But they were unable to come up with a key hit to push a run across. The Pirates collected three straight hits off of Madison Bumgarner to start the...

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Game 19 Recap: Fish Pound McDonald

A game whose scoring started with so much promise – Pedro Alvarez’ first homer of the year – quickly turned into a disaster. Scott Cousins hit a grand slam in the second inning and Brett Hayes hit a three run bomb in the next inning as Florida clobbered James McDonald and the Pirates. Alvarez’ tater came with two down in the second off Chris Volstad. The led didn’t last long. McDonald loaded the bases in...

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Game 14 Recap: Hernandez’ Slam Dooms Bucs

Ramon Hernandez highlighted a seven run fifth inning with a grand slam as Cincinnati returned the beating by winning 11-2. The pitch Hernandez drove over the fence was the last toss from Pirates starter James McDonald. The Reds drew first blood as Jonny Gomes hit a solo homer off McDonald in the second. Joey Votto’s two out RBI single in the third plated Drew Stubbs, who had doubled, and made it 2-0. Pittsburgh tied it up in the...

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Game 10 Recap: Lack of Control Costly

There have been a couple of warning signs about the Pirates early season success in pitching. A lack of strikeouts and a plethora of free passes would top the list when doing a quick breeze through the stats. Despite having the worst K/BB ratio of any staff in the NL, the team came into the game with the third best ERA in the league. Babip against the Pirates hurlers was .279. For the vaunted Phillies, it was .336. The debt collectors...

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