Sunday, June 14, 2009

What Chu Talkin Bout Willis, Bucs Win

Tigers 3 5 0
Pirates 6 9 1

The Pittsburgh Pirates won their second game in a row after a 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers this afternoon. If anyone is keeping score that is four wins and one loss in the past five games between the Penguins/Pirates and the Wings/Tigers.

The day started with a small ceremony congratulating the Pittsburgh Penguins on their Stanley Cup achievement. There were a good amount of people at PNC Park today and everyone was standing as Sidney Crosby brought the Cup onto the field with a handful of teammates.

BA Bill Guerin was interviewed during the bottom of the second. The guys in the booth basically quit watching the game in order to stare at the Cup and talk to Billy. It was awesome. At the start of the third they had to rehash the past inning so they could catch themselves back up to speed. It really showed how much this meant to the city of Pittsburgh.

Today was turn back the clock day at the ballpark as both teams represented the 1909 jerseys. The park was also like it was in 1909, there was no side LED panels on, the main scoreboard just showed the line score, hitter and pitchers.

The Bucco’s did play the game too as they got to Tigers starter Dontrelle Willis walked three Pirates in the first and saw the first four batters successfully reach base. The Bucs scored two runs on bases loaded walks and scored three in the inning.

Willis had trouble all day. Walking starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf to lead of the second inning and walking Monroe to lead off the third and then walking Hinske two batters later.

Willis walked six through the first three innings. Seemingly the Pirates should have had about 7 runs or so but they could not capitalize fully on the wildness.

Although the Pirates capitalized in the first inning off of Willis’ wildness they were very undisciplined at the plate. Robinzon Diaz, Jack Wilson and Ross Ohlendorf went 1-2-3 after the Pirates loaded up the bases with nobody out in the third. Understandable for Ohlendorf to end the inning, being the pitcher, but Diaz and Wilson were swinging with 1-0 counts and swinging at balls after Willis had walked two of the last three batters. This game could have been well out of reach in the third if not for the bad at bats by our Bucco’s. The Pirates finshed the game 3-15 with runners in scoring position and two of those hits were from Freddy Sanchez.

Tough for someone like Dontrelle to do this to a Pirates team. Although they were very undisciplined coming into the game they were third in the NL hitting .271 with runners in scoring position. You can’t give a team with stats like that six walks in three innings. Not a formula for winning.

Dontrelle only lasted 3.2 today. Walked the lead off batter in every inning, which most baseball fans know that when you walk the lead off hitter, he usually scored. Willis walked eight batters today and threw 88 pitches leaving the game down 6-1.
The Dorfer really pitched well today. He threw strikes and got outs. When you are givin a 3-0 first inning lead that’s all you need to do. After a leadoff hit in the first Ross retired the next nine batters. That is back to back good starts for Ross and hopefully he can continue to throw quality starts.

Delwyn Young was solid today as he was 3 of 4 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI. Andrew McCutchen and Freddy Sanchez also had two hit each for the Bucs. The Pirates were walked eleven times. That’s right, eleven times. Hinske was walked four times himself. Terrible job by the Detroit pitching staff. In the first inning the Pirates barely had to get their should off their bat. Actually come to think of it, the Pirates actually were the ones who got themselves out the first three innings.

It must be noted that not only has Andy LaRoche improved offensively, but his defense has been really really good lately. At the beginning of the season Andy was shaky at best at third, but he has been rock solid for this team at third base. Freddy and Jack have also been very good up the middle (who would have thought). The Buccos are second in MLB in double plays turned (69 coming into the game) which is a huge help to the pitching staff.

The Pirates also have 40 stolen bases this year in 63 games. Last year they had 57 for the whole season.

The Bucs improved to 30-33 which ironically is the same exact record they had through 63 games last year.

26,565 at the park today.

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