There was more mayhem on the basepaths. There was a continued lack of offense from the Pirates. Thankfully, Paul Maholm continued to pitch very well. He tossed seven shutout innings and the Pirates scored three times to win 3-1.
The Pirates scored early against Mike Pelfrey. Jose Tabata, Xavier Paul and Neil Walker all singled, with Tabata scoring on Walker’s knock. But Paul was picked off second for the first out. Pelfrey settled in to get Garrett Jones and Lyle Overbay to end the threat. Pittsburgh didn’t get another base runner until Brandon Wood led off the fifth with a solo dinger. The Bucs were aided by an obstruction called against Jose Reyes that erased Tabata being thrown out at third on Paul’s single.
The Mets got only five base runners against Maholm in seven innings and scored no runs.
But it got interesting in the eighth. Jose Veras relieved Maholm and got into trouble from the outset. He walked Ruben Tejada and gave up a single to Lucas Duda. Tim Wood was called on to clean up the mess. He gave up a sac fly to Jose Reyes, but Duda was out at first as Tabata made a diving catch. Wood got Justin Turner on a fly ball to end it.
The Pirates got that run back in the home half of the eighth. Manny Acosta gave up singles to Ronny Cedeno, Andrew McCutchen and Tabata. Tim Byrdak relieved and gave up a two out walk to Walker to force in the final run.
Joel Hanrahan tossed a perfect ninth for the save.
Maholm yielded three hits and two walks in his seven innings. He struck out four. Mike Pelfrey gave up three singles, a homer and no walks in his seven innings. He whiffed six. Hanrahan has seven saves.
Maholm was excellent, again.
Welcome the recently acquired Mike McKenry. In the fifth inning, he picked off Daniel Murphy from second base to help suppress a rally.
McCutchen entered as part of a double switch after being giving the day off. He singled to extend his hitting streak.
Tabata had two more hits.
One game under .500!
Only seven hits and three runs.
As was reported in the AP game recap, the Pirates have used six catchers in 2011 – Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit, Jason Jaramillo, Dusty Brown, Wyatt Toregas and McKenry. The last time the Pirates used that many catchers in a season was 1988 when Mike LaValliere, Junior Ortiz, Tom Prince, Ruben Rodriguez, Mike Diaz and Dave Hostetler all spent time behind the plate.
In case you are looking for some very obscure trivia, the aforementioned Ruben Rodriguez is one of 16 players (according to baseball-reference.com) who have just one hit in their career with that hit being a triple. Former Bucco Alberto Lois is also on that list.
Maholm is 4-3 against the Mets. Pelfrey is now 3-2 against Pittsburgh.
Although they are both Panamanian, I don’t believe Manny Acosta is related to former Pirate hurler Ed Acosta.
Is it time to start thinking about signing Paul to an extension and buying out next year. Maybe 3yr./21Mil.
D McC has come back to earth. Veras has started affecting my blood pressure. Kudos to Hurdle and NH (geez, I’m patting NH on the back again) for the fine job they’ve done keeping a bona fide pitching staff together.
Diaz left the proverbial ducks on the pond again with his pinch hitting. Actually his lack of it. He shows no signs of power and is only a slight upgrade over Jones. I really liked picking him up, but it seems every time NH signs a FA position player, he stinks. It’s a shame there are no ready .330 or so AAA outfielders who could be recalled. NH you gotta do something.
The F.O. has said repeatedly theey’ll make the moves when the time is ready. How ’bout a little roster juggling? Ciriaco should not have sniffed the roster. Playing short handed with Harrison out and D’arnaud available? What harm is there to putting Harrison on the DL and bringing D’arnaud up.
Here’s a question —
Next year Cedeno has a $3M option. The instant knee-jerk reaction is “No Way”, but considering the Rivas/Gomez/Vasquez’s of the world that got $1-2M to stink at SS, wouldn’t it be nice to have a defensively competent MIF backup?
You could start d’Arnaud at SS in 2012, with Cedeno as MIF backup and Wood as a corner IF backup.
It would be nice if Wood would get more respect. For a team like the Pirates, why not replace a bad SS with another power threat? Even if Wood bats .230, he will do it with power. The Pirates need all the power they can get right now and Wood adds to their less than potent line up.