Monday, August 1, 2011

Game 107 Recap - Cubs 5, Pirates 3

Tonight was another one of “those nights” where nothing felt good and you just kinda knew that the Pirates weren’t going to be able to replicate their last comeback against Cubs closers Carlos Marmol. The Pirates dropped their fourth game in a row and now could fall 5.5 games back of first place and now find themselves only one game over .500 after the 5-3 loss to the Cubs in front of over 22,000 on a Monday night at PNC Park.

The Pirates outhit their opponent for the first time in almost two weeks but it didn’t matter. The offense with its new pieces defiantly gave the Pirates a much better look at the plate and more of a power threat but it just wasn’t enough as Paul Maholm didn’t have his best stuff and Daniel McCutchen gave up a late insurance run to seal the deal for the Cubs.

Maholm came in and got out of the first inning in only six pitches but starting to lose his control in the second and never really got it back. He walked three in six innings of work and also hit a batter while giving up six hits. Maholm ended his outing by giving up three runs in the sixth inning of a tie game. Overall not a terrible game for Paul, but being a little more efficient would have gone a long way into letting him go seven or eight innings.

I talked about the new acquisitions earlier and one of them, Derrek Lee, was a hit in a big way. Lee went deep twice and drove in all three Pirates runs in his first game since the Pirates trading for him from the Baltimore Orioles. Lee becomes the first Pirate player to hit a home run in his first game since pitcher Matt Morris did it in 2007 and the first Pirate to hi multiple home runs in their first game since Shawon Dunston in 1997. These were not ordinary home runs either, these were bombs to left field and right center. He played some really good defense too, getting the lead runner at second on a bunt late in the game, so it is going to be fun to see what he can do the rest of the season.

Ryan Ludwick was not as good as Lee today as he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk. Granted Ludwick didn’t even show up to the park till after BP so I am sure it was a quick learning curve with getting to a new team and if you are going to judge a guy on four plate appearances then you are doing it wrong.

Lee wasn’t the only guy in the lineup that was getting it done. Neil Walker, and Pedro Alvarez also had two hits each and it is going to be a fun offense to watch if those three guys can get going as they hit behind Lee.

There wasn’t much else going on tonight. Andrew McCutchen had another off day and Ronny Cedeno was pretty bad all around so that didn’t help the cause.

Time to get after it tomorrow and try and get back on the winning track.

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