Indians Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 2-0 Loss at Cleveland. James McDonald did his part. Box score.
Saturday: 9-2 Win at Cleveland. Pedro wakes up with 2 HRs… Box score.
Sunday: 9-5 Win at Cleveland. …and follows up with 2 more. Box score.

Season Record: 34-31, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.5 games back

Notes: Any talk has to start with Pedro Alvarez flashing the talent we all know he has inside. Pedro knocked in half of the 18 runs the Pirates scored this weekend. Not to be overlooked in El Toro’s big show is Casey McGehee, who had five hits and five RBI of his own. A.J. Burnett came up big and stopped the losing streak even though he didn’t have his best stuff.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh   AB   R   H  RBI  BB  SO  LOB     AVG     OBP
Presley, LF 15 2 2 2 0 3 6 0.133 0.133
McGehee, 1B 13 4 5 5 1 3 8 0.385 0.429
McCutchen, A, CF 13 1 4 0 1 2 6 0.308 0.357
Alvarez, 3B 11 4 5 9 2 1 3 0.455 0.538
Walker, 2B 10 3 4 0 3 4 0 0.400 0.571
Jones, G, DH, RF 10 3 2 1 2 2 6 0.200 0.333
Tabata, RF 8 0 2 0 2 2 5 0.250 0.400
Barmes, SS 8 0 0 0 1 4 4 0.000 0.111
Barajas, C 7 0 0 0 1 2 4 0.000 0.125
Hague, PH-DH 5 1 2 0 0 1 2 0.400 0.400
McKenry, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.000 0.250
Harrison, SS 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.500 0.667
  Totals 105 18 27 17 14 26 44 0.257 0.355

Batting
Doubles (4): Walker (12), McCutchen (11), Alvarez (11), Tabata (12)
Home Runs (7): Alvarez 4 (12), McGehee (3), Presley 2 (5)

BaseRunning
SB: Walker 2 (7), Tabata (8)
CS: Harrison (2)

Fielding
Double Plays: (Presley-Barajas), (Walker-Barmes-McGehee), (Hughes-Barmes-McGehee

Pitching

Pittsburgh     IP    H    R   ER  BB  SO  HR    ERA   WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 7-2) 6.7 6 2 2 4 2 2 2.70 1.50
McDonald, J(L, 5-3) 6.0 3 1 1 2 5 0 1.50 0.83
Hughes, J(H, 5) 3.3 2 1 1 0 0 0 2.70 0.60
Lincoln 3.3 8 4 4 1 2 1 10.80 2.70
Watson(W, 4-0) 2.7 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.13
Grilli 1.7 0 1 1 2 3 0 5.40 1.20
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.00
Slaten 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Cruz, J 0.3 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 3.00
  Totals 26.0 24 9 9 9 16 3 3.12 1.27

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Series Preview: The Indians

Current record: 32-31, 3rd place in NL Central, 4.0 games back

Up Next: Cleveland Indians, 33-30, 2nd place in AL Central, 1.0 game back

Season Series: 0-1, First time playing.

Notes: Like the Orioles, the Indians are over .500 despite a negative run differential. Like the Orioles, their pitching is weak and they need to out hit their opponent to win. Like the Orioles, they have one of the best young catchers in the game: Carlos Santana. Like the Orioles, they haven’t lost to the Pirates this season. Hopefully, the similarities end there and the Bucs can take the next two games.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH James McDonald (2-6, 81.1 IP, 59 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)
vs. RH Justin Masterson (5-2, 67.0 IP, 51 K, 3.49 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

Saturday: RH A.J. Burnett (6-2, 62.1 IP, 56 K, 3.61 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
vs. RH Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 69.2 IP, 44 K, 4.91 ERA, 1.59 WHIP)

Sunday: RH Brad Lincoln (3-2, 34.1 IP, 34 K, 3.15 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)
vs. RH Jeanmar Gomez (4-5, 63.0 IP, 31 K, 4.71 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Another sweep

Thanks to Vlad Guerrero’s walk-off single last night the Pirates were swept for the eighth time this season. Things looked good early when they went up 4-0 in the first, but as the game continued you could feel it slipping away. I’m out of anger at this point. The team is 25-47. They’ve won seven series and lost fifteen (with two pushes). After winning the season opening three-game home stand against the Dodgers they’ve lost or pushed the next five. The only winning road trip was a 3-2 set against Chicago and Philly. They are 7-2 against the Cubs, 2-1 vs. the Indians and 16-44 against everyone else. Is there any hope to find anywhere?

Season: Record: 25-47, Expected record: 20-52 (+5 games), Runs/game: 3.32
Opening Day to May 24: Record: 19-26, Expected: 12-33 (+7), Runs/game: 3.42
Since Walker recalled (May 25): Record: 6-21, Expected: 8-19 (-2), Runs/game: 3.15
Since Tabata recalled (Jun 9): Record: 2-12, Expected: 4-10(-2), Runs/game: 3.57
Since Alvarez recalled (Jun 16): Record: 2-6, Expected: 2-6 (even), Runs/game: 3.88

Call it amazing but the team scored more runs per game with Iwamura in the lineup than they have since Walker started playing every day. The offense has improved since Tabata and Pedro arrived, but the sample sizes are pretty small and even then not up to league average (4.42). Maybe I’ll revisit this in a month and see what’s changed.

In the mean time I’ll be cheering for the USA as they take on the hated Ghana-reans tomorrow. USA! USA! USA!

Delusions of Grandeur

Did I pick a crazy weekend to go out of town or what?  The Pirates extend their losing streak to 12, fire a pierogi, then win twice in a row. Pedro Alvarez gets his first hit too. To quote Han Solo, “I’m out of it for a little while and everyone gets delusions of grandeur.”A wrap up of things I missed this weekend:

The Pirates broke their twelve game losing streak by beating Cleveland Saturday and Sunday. Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen had big games, but the moment that everyone was waiting for finally happened in the 5th inning when #Pedropalooza broke out a ground rule double for his first hit and RBI. After three games I was getting worried that he might reach Aramis Ramirez territory so this is great news.

The team also celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1960 World Series win over the Yankees. Lots of giveaways and old players on hand. Really wish I could have made it to the ‘Burgh for this.

On Sunday John Russell was ejected for only the fourth time in his three two-plus years of managing the Pirates. Call him the anti-Bobby Cox.

Zach Duke has a mild elbow strain and will miss his scheduled start on Tuesday. Monday’s off day means no spot starter will be needed. Duke is expected to be fine for his next turn on Saturday, but that could change later in the week.

Up Next: Interleague play wraps up with a six game road trip to Texas and Oakland.

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