Mike Hampton gave up three hits and one run over seven dominant innings to give the Astros the series. The Pirates lone run came in the form of a Nate McLouth dinger leading off the bottom of the first inning. After that, the Pirates didn’t advance a runner past first base.
Paul Maholm was the hard luck loser. He gave up both Houston runs on eight hits in seven innings. Unfortunately for Maholm, his last inning was the one that needed a do-over. Houston put together three singles and a passed ball to plate the winning run.
No complaints about Maholm’s effort.
Nate McLouth had two hits in his second start leading off in 2009.
After McLouth, the rest of the club had as many hits as fielding miscues (a passed ball from Robinzon Diaz and an error from Andy LaRoche).
Mike Hampton hasn’t lost to the Pirates this decade. His last loss to Pittsburgh was 5-30-99 when Mike Benjamin knocked in three runs (Benjamin would play in about 250 more games and have just two more games in which he knocked in three or more runs). Hampton is now 12-3 lifetime against Pittsburgh.
The Pirates averaged 4.81 runs per game in April and posted a 3.41 team ERA. May’s numbers were 3.90 runs per game and an ERA of 4.84.
Through 50 games the Pirates are 22-28 in 2009. That mark in 2008 was 24-26. Pardon me if my optimism has left the room.