What has been somewhat of a fairy tale season has all the makings of a tragic ending should the Pirates remain unable to score runs. This isn’t 1968, but it seems like it whenever the Pirates take the field. The most recent pitcher to channel Bob Gibson was Jair Jurrjens. He allowed a single run and six hits in seven innings. As it stands now, the Pirates have scored just once in the past 26 innings and are averaging less than three runs per game since the All-Star break.
To top it off, Pittsburgh wasted yet another stellar peformance from Paul Maholm. Needing to go deep into the game after the marathon the day before, he did so – seven innings. Needing to keep the opponents at bay, he did so – a single run allowed. But it wasn’t enough.
The Pirates have been getting some runs with some aggressive base running. Atlanta was having none of that tonight. Xavier Paul led off the third with an infield single and was caught stealing. In the next inning, Pedro Alvarez was thrown out at home by Martin Prado trying to score on a fly ball from Brandon Wood.
The Pirates lone run of the game came when Garrett Jones led off the sixth with a dinger. Neil Walker singled, but he was also thrown out trying to steal. Alvarez doubled with two outs but was stranded. He was the last runner Pittsburgh would advance past second base.
Atlanta tied it up in the bottom of the sixth. Pardo, Dan Uggla and former Pirate David Ross all singled. Prado scored on Ross’ one out single to make it 1-1. Maholm whiffed the next two hitters to end the threat.
Tony Watson and Jose Veras eached tossed a scoreless inning to push the game to extra frames. Chris Leroux – recently recalled from the minors – tossed the tenth and was unable to finish it. Nate McLouth singled. One out later Prado did likewise. Uggla was intentionally walked to bring Ross to the plate. He singled to score McLouth with the game winner.
Maholm gave up nine hits and no walks in his seven innings. He struck out a season best eight. Jurrjens gave up six hits and three walks and struck out four in seven innings. Scott Linebrink pitched a scoreless tenth for the W.
Maholm – please keep it up.
A continued lack of offense.
Bucs hit into two other double plays – a sac bunt attempt from Maholm went for a double play and Lyle Overbay lined into one.
Jurrjens is still 2-3 against Pittsburgh. Maholm remains 1-1 against Atlanta. Atlanta came into the game hitting .224 collectively against Maholm.
Maholm has struck out eight three times this season and has done it twice in July.
Jones’ dinger gives him double digits for the third straight year. It was his first tater since July 2nd.