Results tagged ‘ Zach Duke ’
<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php?option=com_mobile&task=viewaltcast&altcast_code=39ceea580f” >Game 65: Pirates at Twins</a>
Well the Pirates got beat pretty hard last night, but they turned the tables around and dished out some pain of their own tonight. They did it with the help of the long ball. The Pirates his 3 home runs tonight, which has been a very rare occurrence for them this year. It all started in the 3rd inning when Andrew McCutchen hit his first home run of his career and gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead. The Twins battled back and tied it at 2, but that tie was quickly broken in the 4th inning by Andy LaRoche’s two run bomb that drove in his brother Adam. Ian Snell, John Grabow, and Steven Jackson took it from there. Snell earned his first victory since April, and improved to 2-7 as he pitched 6 innings giving up only 2 runs. Snell had good stuff tonight despite striking out only 2. That’s Snell’s third consecutive start where he gave the team a chance to win, this is good news for the Pirates. Either it’s good news in the sense that he could be effective as a starter for the rest of the year with the Pirates, or good news in the sense that his trade value has gone up a bit. There are interested suitors for Snell, including rumored Colorado and Texas. I would be pretty excited if we could get a decent prospect or two for him, the sooner the better. Charlie Morton and Daniel McCutchen are hinting that the future is now. Let them pitch.
Anyways, the third home run of the game came in the 9th by Adam LaRoche. He roped one out quickly to right field. They added on 3 runs before that bomb in the 8th with help from Robinzon Diaz’s 2 run double into the left center field gap. This was just another very well played baseball game for the Pirates. They hit, they pitched, they played defense, and they won convincingly. It’s not easy to beat the Twins in Minnesota, that was only the 13th time it happened this year.
This all puts the Pirates record at 31-34 as we head into the rubber game tomorrow against the Twins. It’s a 1:10 start and not televised. Zach Duke takes the hill to face Nick Blackburn. Duke has been good all year long, and Blackburn has been lights out lately. He’s won 3 of his last 5 decisions and hasn’t given up more than 3 earned runs in a start since May 16th against the Yankees. The Pirates have proved to be very effective in games against good starting pitching, so let’s hope that trend continues tomorrow. I’d like to see the Pirates keep hitting home runs too, they seem to really help a team win.
Let’s Go Bucs!
Well I haven’t posted in a couple days because my internet has been down. The Comcast guy came yesterday to “fix” it, but he failed to do so. I have it working right now however, who knows that’ll last, so I’d better do this quick.
Ah yes, my pre-game feelings were right on. The Pirates finally ended their 8-game losing streak with an impressive 7-1 victory over the Cardinals. I feel like I should make a long post reflecting on this game’s happenings. However, no one really wants to read all that, plus I didn’t even watch the game because I was playing softball. We did win our game, in case you were wondering, we 15-runned our opponent and I made my first web-gem of the year at second base on a screaming grounder up the middle. It felt good. haha. Anyways, let’s get to some Pirates baseball information:
- Zach Duke : 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB – Duke was phenomenal again. He’s really good in PNC Park. Duke did just what we needed him too. The only run he surrendered was a first inning home run to Albert Pujols, which wasn’t even his fault, because it’s Albert Pujols. I honestly don’t even get upset when watching a Pujols bomb, which happens so often against the Pirates. I’ve just accepted that this guy is the best hitter of my lifetime and he’s going to hit a lot of home runs. I’m a big fan of his so whatever he does is fine with me. The important thing is to get everyone else in that lineup out, which Duke did tonight. Of course the early injury to Ryan Ludwick helped Duke’s cause as well. Anyway, great work from Duke getting us off the schneid.
- Brandon Moss : 3/4, 2 R, 2 RBI – Brandon Moss finally looked like a major league hitter. He ripped a single in the second and finally hit his first long ball of the year in the 5th. Let’s just hope this is a boost of confidence and this kind of night becomes a very familiar thing. That would be a huge boost to the team. Also, let me say one thing. After that home run, I got a couple texts from friends saying “look at your boy Moss” or something of that sort. Let me say this, Brandon Moss is NOT my boy. I have stuck up for him all through April just because of his youth and upside, but I’m not going to lie that faith had been wavering him. After one game I’m not going to change my wavering view of him or say that he is ready to break out, because he probably isn’t. One thing I’m not going to do is start bragging about my patience with him and say it paid off, because I was about to give up on him and hey, it’s only one game. This is ridiculous, let’s move on.
- Matt Capps : Well Zach Duke couldn’t finish the game and stopped after 8 innings, and that gave the Pirates a chance to see Matt Capps for the first time in over a week. He showed mixed signs. He gave up a hit and 2 walks and actually loaded the bases with nobody out, but then put it together and struck out 2 batters and got a flyout to end the game. His control was off, but he was throwing good pitches that resulted in a lot of swing and misses. The control issues were probably expected because he had been down for a while, and it’s really good to see him getting hitters off balance and vulnerable at the plate. That’s the Capps we need to see for the rest of this year, enough of the wildness and straight fastballs over the heart of the plate.
This morning I woke up and went outside. I was pleasantly greeted by the chirping of birds, which again reminded me that spring is here and summer is on the way. It put a smile on my face and started my day off right. Then I was reminded of the Pirates recent misfortunes because we are hosting some birds of our own this week.
Well I had every intention of sitting here and blogging throughout the entire game tonight on my brand spanking new macbook, but unfortunately both TVs were take because my mom was watching Lie To Me, and my dad was watching the Penguins game, so I had settle for listening to the game on MLB LIVE AT BAT on my iPod. My dad has since went to bed and I can now watch my buccos play and talk about LIVE. Here we go… here’s just a couple things I noticed early in the game :
- Delwyn Young got his first start of the year and so far is doing great. He’s got a single, 2 walks, and scored our first run of the game. He also came within a foot or so of making a phenomenal catch to rob the Cardinals of 2 runs, but unfortunately he couldn’t snatch it. I don’t think Moss would’ve even got to that ball.
- The injury of Rick Ankiel cost us a run tonight. I know, this sounds nuts, but I can back it up. Jason Jamarillo got thrown out at home earlier in the game on a Nyjer Morgan single. I can guarantee that if Ricky Ankiely were out in center field, Tony Beasley WOULD NOT have sent Jamarillo to the dish and we would’ve stayed in that inning. The run then would’ve scored on the next hitter, of course I guess I can’t really say that because things might have been different, but I still think it’s a good observation.
- That’s about it, let’s get to the G-LOG
9:42: Andy LaRoche just grounded out to the pitcher to end the top of the fifth. It would’ve been really nice to get a hit there because there was a runner at third. 4-2 Cardinals
9:47: That quickly the bottom of the 5th is over, Zach Duke really cruised through that inning, striking out 2. We’ve got the bottom of the order coming home so let’s hope we can draw some walks. 4-2 Cardinals
9:51: My MLB.TV has now stopped working. This is bad news, it better be fixed by 10:10 when the Nationals vs. Dodgers game starts…
Yeah, that’s pretty much how it’s felt to be a Pirate fan the last week and half. The Pirates are 1-7 in their last 8 games, and the starting pitching has been good enough to win 5 of those games, which makes it hurt even worse. The offense has been terrible, scoring only 27 runs in those 8 games, which I guess isn’t terrible, but they were bunched up runs. They have been shut out 3 times in this stretch. In the one game they won they scored 8 runs. That’s only 19 runs in 7 losses. I don’t care how good your starting pitching is, if you score less than 3 runs a game like that, you’re not going to win very often. And as bad as the offense has been, the bullpen has been twice as bad. I don’t know any numbers or percentages (I’d look them up, but it’d just be too painful), but those pitchers have been worse than I’ve ever seen them. The worst part is that it’s not Donnie Veal and Evan Meek in there getting roughed up, it’s been the anchors of the bullpen with John Grabow, Tyler Yates, and Matt Capps. This hurts more than anything. There’s nothing worse than playing a great first 6 or 7 innings then losing the game because of the bullpen.
So let’s try to get off this schneid with a new series. The Brewers won’t be around for awhile and we can focus on teams that we can actually beat. We’re back in St. Louis tonight, where we split our first series of the year by taking 2 of 4 from the Cardinals. Tonight we send the reliable Zach Duke to the bump to take on Mitch Boggs
Yeah, I said Mitch Boggs. Who the crap is Mitch Boggs?? I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable baseball fan and I’ve never heard of this guy.
Turns out he’s a prospect for the Cardinals who is filling in for Chris Carpenter. He’s made 3 starts this year and has been pretty good. He’s 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA while striking out 5. His stuff isn’t electric, his velocity is average at best, so I’m not seeing another shut out tonight. The Pirates can definitely score some runs off of his, let’s just hope it’s enough to win the game. A 13-14 record looks a whole lot better than a 12-15 mark.
LET’S GO BUCS!
Now that’s a blog title right there. Dang, I’m awesome.
- The Pirates offense collected 14 hits without Nate McLouth and Jack Wilson. The lineup featured all 3 offseason additions for the first time this year, with Monroe in left, HInske in right, and Vasquez at shortstop. Those three combined for 6 hits and 4 RBI.
- Freddy Sanchez got rid of any bad taste in his mouth from an 0-5 performance yesterday by collecting 3 hits and scoring 3 runs. He was back in the 2 hole in the lineup, I guess he likes it better there. We really need Nate back, it would be a huge blow for him to miss significant time.
- The Pirates got deep into the Padres bullpen for a second straight night. After starter Shawn Hill only made it through 2 innings (due to an injury, I assume) the bullpen used 3 pitchers to combine for the other 7 innings. Josh Geer through 4 innings giving up 7 hits and 5 runs, Eulogio De La Cruz went 2 innings giving up 2 runs on 2 hits, and Luis Perdomo had a perfect inning in the 9th. This should make the Padres push the limits on Jake Peavy tonight because they really need their bullpen to get some rest tomorrow. Let’s hope the Pirates can be patient at the plate and make Peavy throw a lot of pitches early, then touch him up in the middle innings.
- Looking at the standings, if the season ended today, the Pirates would be in a tie with these Padres for the wild card spot and would be playing a play-in game to earn a playoff bid, wouldn’t that be something?
Well I’m getting ready to leave for the game pretty soon, just wanted to make a quick post with a little preview of the game. Javier Vasquez takes the hill for the Braves to face the resurgent Zach Duke. Vasquez is a pure strikeout pitcher, he has 17 strikeouts in 2 starts, while going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. This gives the advantage to Duke, who is 2-0 with 9 strikeouts and a .59 ERA. It’s funny, the Pirates are first in the league in team ERA, but last in the league in strikeouts. Their doing it with location and efficiency. My fingers are crossed that Duke can continue the streak and go out and give another good effort. A win today would really boost the Pirates heading into a 3 game set with the league’s best team. The Marlins come to town tomorrow through Wednesday with a record of 10-1. If the Pirates could win today and then take 1 from the Marlins, they’d be at a nice 8-8 when they hit the road again. I would be more than fine with that record, but of course it’d be nice to win the next 4 games and go to 10-5
Well the home opener is in the books, and I think you all know how it went down. Zach Duke pitched a complete game shut out and the Pirates won it 7-0. Nothing left to do here but get to the pictures I took.
Nothing too great, my camera is really lame. Anyways, the game was a lot of fun, it was a little chilly but didn’t affect me much. My only mistake was going to the game with two people who aren’t nearly as passionate about baseball as I am. In fact one of them doesn’t like it at all. That was a downer, but I still had a great time watching the Pirates beat down on the Astros. Here are some of the high(and low) lights of my day.
- I dropped a ball in batting practice. Hit both of my hands and I couldn’t hold on, it was embarrassing.
- Nate’s gold glove looked amazing, you could see it shining all through the stadium.
- I got some free french fries from winning a bet from my friend – always a nice occurrence.
- McLouth helped my fantasy team (which lost week 1) with an RBI single.
- After the game, I called into the post game show and got on! I proceeded to ask a stupid question, who would win in a foot race: Nyjer Morgan, Andrew McCutchen, Chris Duffy, or Randall Simon. The host’s answer? Randall Simon, then he made fun of me
Alright well I have very little time here, even though I’d love to do a full recap of this game, because it was spectacular. The Pirates collected 17 hits today, including 4 a piece from Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson. Nate McLouth had hit first hit of the season and it happened to go over the fence for his first home run and first RBIs of 2009. Zach Duke also pitched great, going 6.1 innings giving up 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and striking out 4. Just an overall awesome performance. Right now Matt Capps is in for the save after a shaky third of an inning from Tyler Yates. Capps doesn’t look particularly good right now either, giving up a towering foul ball to Colby Rasmus and a long out to Nate McLouth. He just finished it up though, on another hard hit ball right at Ramon Vasquez. So it’s all over and the Pirates win 7-4.