Game 82 Recap-
Certified Hall of Famer CF Ken Griffey Jr hit a two run shot off of Pittsburgh closer Matt Capps(1-3,2.97 era, 17 saves) to close out a stunning Reds victory over the Pirates, 4-3 at All American Ballpark in Cincinati. This was a tight game all night as each clubs starter pitched great and deep into the game.
Capps will be happy to see June gone, he was 15 for 15 on save chances , then he blew his 1st save on June 10th. Since then, he has given up 4 of 6.”It’s been a rough month,” Capps said. “I gave up a home run to a Hall of Famer tonight. Tonight’s was probably the easiest one to do. He’s a pretty good hitter. It was down and had some movement on it.”
Pirates LH Paul Maholm(5-5,4.28) pitched great in a hitters park(7 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs with 5 Ks and 2 walks), allowing only a solo homer(Jerry Hairston jr in the 3rd) & a run producing ground out in the 6th. Reds veteran RH Aaron Harang(3-10,4.47) was also impressive, with 7 innings of work with 7 hits and 3 runs allowed plus 8 strikeouts and 1 walk. 1b Adam Laroche was the Pirates offense, with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd and 2 run shot in the 6th to put the club up 3-2.
Star of the Game-
Griffey Jr- #603 wins the game
LF Jason Bay extended his hitting streak to 8….Manager John Russell had the pitcher spot hit 8th and SS Jack Wilson bat 9th… Laroche led the team with 3 of the teams 9 hits
Tuesday, 7:10 pm, Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
LH Zach Duke(4-5,3.99) vs Reds RH Edinson Volquez(10-3,2.08)
Game 81 Recap-
The Tampa Bay Rays got 4 run producing plays from back ups and got solid pitching from 3 sources, helping them beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Sunday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The win allows the Rays to take 2 of three in the series and puts them in 1st place for the first time since June 3.
C Shawn Riggans( home run, 2 rbi) and utility man Willy Aybar(homer, rbi and hit that forced an error to plate another run) helping RH Andy Sonnanstine(9-3,4.60) win his 9th game. Set up man RH Dan Wheeler(1.93) got his 19th hold and veteran closer Troy Percival(2.96) pitched the 9th for his 19th save.
Veteran LH Tom Gorzelanny(6-6,6.18) battled and maybe has turned the corner on a tough 1st half. Over 6 innings, he allowed 8 hits and 2 runs with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. Unfortunately, the Rays made him work and he was at 111 pitches over the 6 innings. Riggans’(4th) and Aybar’s (6th) homers accounted for both Rays runs. Pirates LF Jason Bay’s 4th inning sacrifice fly & CF Nate McLouth’s rbi ground out tied the score in the 6th.
Pirates RH Tyler Yates was also done in by the Rays 2 man offense. Aybar singled and a throwing error by RF Xavier Nady(leads the NL in assists with 9) allowed a runner to score from 3rd to make it 3-2. Riggans then scored Aybar with a single and it was 4-2.The Pirates did not quit and C Ryan Doumi’s rbi single made it 4-3 in the 8th. Percival allowed a leadoff walk in the 9th but showed veteran moxie striking out the last 2 hitters of the game for a 4-3 win.
Star of the Game-
Sonnanstine— Effective and economic 7 innings with 98 pitches
SS Jack Wilson had 2 hits to lead the club…. Gorzelanny, who has had a tough season to say the least, allowed fewer than 3 earned runs for the 1st time in 7 starts…Team should vote to cancel interleague play, they are 62-103 all time vs the AL
Opener of a 3 game series vs the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park
Pirates LH Paul Maholm(5-5,4.41) vs Reds Aaron Harang(3-10,4.51)
Game 80 Recap-
RF Jason Bay hit a walk off home run, helping the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Tampa Rays, 4-3 Saturday night at PNC Park. Bay hit a pitch from RH Jason Hammel(3-2,4.96) out to center, making RH John Van Benschoten(1-2,8.31) a winner after he pitched a scoreless 13th.
The teams got strong games from young starting pitchers and traded scores all night. Rookie 3b Evan Longoria hit a sacrifice fly in the 1st to put the Rays up 1-0. Pirates 1b Adam Laroche rbi groundout tied the game in the 2nd. Pirates SP RH Ty Taubenheim( 6 innings,7 hits, 2 runs with 4 Ks and 3 walks) helpled his team with an rbi double in the 6th.
Tampa responded with a run in the 6th after C Dioner Navarro’s rbi single. Pirates supersub Doug Mientkiewicz’s pinch hit double squared the game at 3. That ended the night for Rays SP Edwin(4-6,4.33) Jackson( 6 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs with 3 Ks and 2 walks). Rays PH Johnny Gomes took LH set-up man Damaso Marte(4-0,3.26) deep to center to once again tie the game.
The homer off of Marte marred a great performance by the Pirates relief corps,RHs Tyler Yates(3.52), TJ Beam(10.38, 2 innings) and closer Matt Capps(2.52, 2 innings) all pitched well and allowed Bay to win the game.
Star of the Game-
Bay- My rule…. You hit a walkoff u have this award!
Nady & 3b Jose Bautista led the team with 2 hits… start of the game was delayed 45 minutes with strong storms in the Pittsburgh area
Sunday 1:35 PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Pirates LH Tom Gorzelanny(6-6,6.43) vs Rays RH Andy Sonnanstine(8-3,4.85)
Game 79 Recap-
The ever improving Tampa Bay Rays used their tremendous pure talent to ruin the ML debut of Jimmy Barthmaier,10-5 at PNC Park Friday. Super stud 3b Evan Longoria(1st) & RF Eric Hinske(3rd) both hit 3 run shots and it was quickly 6-0 Tampa. Power starter, Rays LH Scott Kazmir(7-3,2.28) worked hard over 5 innings(103 pitches) while allowing 5 hits, 4 runs(3 earned) with 4 Ks and 2 walks.
The Rays jumped all over young Barthmaier, who lasted 2 1/3 + innings, giving up 7 hits & 7 runs with 2 Ks and 2 walks. C Dioner Navarro’s rbi double ended his day in the 3rd to make it 7-0. The Pirates rallied for 4 in the 4th, 2b Freddy Sanchez homered to lead off the inning. 1b Chris Gomez singled in the 2nd run and SS Jack Wilson followed with a run single.
Rays LF Carl Crawford homered in the 7th off of LH Sean Burnett(0-0,5.73) to make it 8-4 Tampa. Wilson just missed a homer to center in the 6th, settling for an rbi double. The Rays closed out the scoring in the 7th after 1b Carlos Pena(sacrifice fly) and SS Jason Bartlett(single) collecting rbi.
Star of the Game-
Longoria-4 for 5, 3 rbi, 3 runs, walk— Great, great talent that will only get better
Wilson led the team with 2 hits… New acquisition RH Denny Bautista(trade this week with the Detroit Tigers) made his debut, getting one out before leaving after taking a linedrive off of his elbow…RF Xavier Nady,who started in Thursday’s cancelled game, pinch hit after missing 10 games with a shoulder injury… Barthmaier was demoted post game & RH Ty Taubenheim recalled from Triple A
Saturday 7:05 PNC Park
Pirates RH John Van Benschoten(0-2,9.39) vs Rays RH Edwin Jackson(4-6,4.35)
Yankees- Pirates 3 game series conclusion rained out, will be made up July 10th
Pirates placed RH Ian Snell(3-7,5.99) on the DL with right elbow pain, Jimmy Barthmaier is being called up from Triple A to take his spot
Pirates start a 3 game interleague series with the Tampa Bay Rays at PNC Park starting Friday.Barthmaier opposes Rays RH Edwin Jackson(4-6,4.35)
Game 78 Recap-
The New York Yankees brought their “A” game to PNC Park Wednesday, scoring early and often to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 10-0. Promising RH Joba Chamberlain(2-2,2.03) was the story, going 6 2/3 innings,allowing 6 hits and no hits, while striking out 7 and walking 1. The live arm and potential is starting to show as 1st year Yankee Manager Joe Girardi stated post game, “There’s been a lot of hype with this young man. Sometimes it’s not easy to live up to the expectations, but he was really good,” Girardi said. “He hasn’t gotten caught up in all the stuff that goes with being Joba Chamberlain. We’ve stretched him out during the season, and that’s not easy to do, but he welcomed the challenge and he looks really good.”
1b Jason Giambi had 2 rbi producing hits and RF Bobby Abreu drove in 4, hilighted by a 3 run homer in the 6th. 2b Robinson Cano(solo homer) and SS & captain Derek Jeter both had 3 hits to lead the 16 hit NY attack. Pirates veteran LH Zach Duke(4-5,3.99) pitched better than the score but was slated vs a starter who was on! Duke went 5, allowing7 hits and 4 runs.(3 earned) He also walked 2. RH T.J. Beam(19.29 era) took the brunt of the NYY assault ,as his former team scored 4 off him in 1 inning of work. RH Franquelis Osoria(3-2,6.02) allowed a run over an inning as did LH set up man John Grabow(4-2,3.37).
Star of the Game-
Chamberlain– Outstanding, tremendous tools,once he learns the tricks of the trade with the transition from relief, watch out!
LF Jason Bay left the game in the 6th with a tight groin, he did the same in Tuesday’s game.. RF Xavier Nady might come off the DL and return Thursday, he is nursing a sore shoulder…SS Jack Wilson led the team with 3 hits
Thursday,7:05 PNC Park
Pirates LH Paul Maholm(5-5,4.41) vs Yankees RH Mike Mussina(10-5,3.93)
Game 77 Recap-
The Pittsburgh Pirates punished the New York Yankees 12-5 to open a 3 game interleague series marking a rematch of the 1960 World Series. That series was won by the Pirates in 7 thrilling games on walk off home run by Hall of Fame 2b Bill Mazeroski, who threw out the 1st pitch tonight. The Pirates clearly enjoyed the atmosphere and came out fired up,”It was perfect,” Jason Bay said. “We got a lot of hits, scored a lot of runs, had a great crowd. That was a blast.”
The Pirates jumped all over Yankees starter, right hander youngster Darrell Rasner( 4-5,4.50). He pitched 5 painful innings, allowing 10 hits and 7 runs with 4 Ks. 3b Jose(2 run) Bautista(wears Mazeroski’s #19) and C Ryan(solo) Doumit hit homers off him.
Pirates veteran LH Tom Gorzelanny(6-6,6.43) pitched well, going 6 solid innings while allowing 6 hits and 3 runs with 5 walks and 2 Ks. Relievers RH Tyler Yates(3.62), LH Damaso Marte(3.11) & RH Franquelis Osoria(5.96, allowed a run homer to RF Bobby Abreu) finished up for the Pirates.
“There was no special pixie dust for this one,” Pirates Manager John Russell said. “But it was a great night. The fans were into it, they had a lot of fun and the players fed off that.”
Star of the Game-
Doumit— HUGE impact in this lineup, needed heavily with RF Xavier Nady on the DL… hitting .350 with 10 homeruns and 24 RBi
Pittsburgh had been the only ML team never to beat the Yankees in the regular season…Every starter had a hit and they tied the season high with 19 hits(set vs St Louis May 31)…Doumit, 2b Freddy Sanchez & 1b Adam Laroche had 3 hits a piece to lead the club
Wednesday,7:05 PNC Park
Pirates LH Zach Duke(4-4,3.91) vs Yankees RH Joba Chamberlain(1-2,2.39)
Game 75 Recap-
Cito Gaston won his 1st game since returning after 11 years and his team snapped a 7 game losing streak, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5 Sunday to salvage the final game of a 3 game series at PNC Park. The Jays, an offensively challenged club, scored in 3 innings with 2 runs apiece in the 1st & 4th and took control in the 6th with 4 more.
“It was a big win for us,” Gaston said. “I thought overall everybody did a great job today. We scored some runs and [Pittsburgh] caught up with us, but they went back and battled again and scored some runs.”
Toronto took a 2-0 lead after RF Alexis Rios(double) & CF Vernon Wells(Sac fly) drove in runs. Pirates LF Jay Bay plated a run on a ground out to make it 2-1 in the bottom of the inning. Pirates RH Ian Snell(3-7,5.99)was not comfortable from pitch one, but he gutted it out for 4 innings of 8 hit ball, while allowing 4 runs and walking 4 with 2 Ks. He was talking about right elbow pain and irritation post game.
“We are going to run some tests tomorrow,” Pirates Manager John Russell said. “Hopefully it’s not anything major but we’ll get some tests run and go from there. He didn’t feel right today and he has a little irritation.He faltered on a few pitches. Just to be on the side of caution, we want to find out what it is, if there’s anything in there.”
“I’m trying my hardest. I’m trying everything possible,” Snell said. “My head’s there, everything’s there. I just don’t know what’s going wrong.
“To tell you the truth, I thought it was dead arm, but I was wrong. It’s just some irritation that I’m just going to get an MRI tomorrow and get it checked out to see if anything is wrong with it.”
After Snell gave up 2 more runs in the 4th via a homer by Adam Lind and another sacrifice fly, call-up RH T.J. Beam entered the game and pitched clean 5th. This was big because of the Pirates scored 3 runs to tie in the 4th via rbi hits from C Raul Chavez(single) and 3b Jose Bautista(2 run single). However, Beam tired and RH Franquelis Osoria(3-2,5.72) gave up 4 runs, 2 from a double by 1b Lyle Overbay & 3b Scott Rolen plated him with a homer to make it 8-4.
Pirates 2b Luis Rivas scored the final run of the game via a groundout to post the score at 8-5. LH Scott Downs(0-1,1.31) pitched 2 great innings in the 7th & 8th for his 11th hold. Jays closer LH BJ Ryan(1-3,2.52) pitched a 1-2-3 9th striking out CF Nate McLouth to end the game and earn his 16th save.
Star of the Game-
2b Joe Inglett was 3 for 4 and on base all day
Besides the bad news with Snell, the team DL-ed LH SP Phil Dumatrait(3-4,4.66) with right rotator cuff tendinitis. One of the better stories of the season as a waiver claim from the Reds, he is now replaced by ex NY Yankees Beam(2.02 era in 40 Innings with Triple A Indianapolis). He carries a 8.50 era over 18 ML innings….SS Jack Wilson and CF Nate McClouth led the team with 2 hits apiece
Team is off Monday- The host the NY Yankees in a 3 game interleague series at PNC Park starting Tuesday, games all start at 7:05 pm
Game 75 Recap-
The Pittsburgh Pirates only had 6 hits but three of them left the park, helping them defeat the Toronto BlueJays 6-3 Saturday at PNC Park. LF Jason Bay, C Raul Chavez & 3b Jose Bautista all hit 2 run shots to back LH Paul Maholm(5-5,4.41). Jays RH Jesse Litsch(7-4,4.06) took the loss, lasting 6 inings, while allowing 5 hits and 6 runs with 2 Ks plus a walk.
Bay’s homer made it 2-0 in the 1st and Chavez followed with his own homer in the 2nd for a 4-0 margin. Toronto plated a run in the 4th with a infield single and throwing error on the same play. Bautista replied in the same inning to make it 6-1. Maholm tired in the 6th and C Rod Barajas(2 hits) doubled in 2 runs for the 6-3 final. LH John Grabow pitched the 8th for his 6th hold and closer Matt Capps threw a clean ninth for his 17th save.
Star of the Game-
Maholm- Continues his recent run of good starts, 7 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs with 3 walks and a K
Bautista had 3 of the teams 6 hits…. Adam Laroche was back at 1b but was 0 for 3, dropping his average to .216… With RF Xavier Nady DL-ed , Doug Mientkiewicz started going 0 for 2 but he walked and scored on Bautista’s homer
Sunday,1:35 PNC Park
Pirates RH Ian Snell(3-7,5.48) vs Jays RH Dustin McGowan(5-5,4.15)
Game 74 Recap-
The Pittsburgh Pirates scored the games only run on an error by a defensive specialist, winning 1-0 vs the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of an interleague series Friday night at PNC Park. Jays SS John Mcdonald misplayed a hard hit grounder with the bases loaded , allowing INF Doug Mientkiewicz to score for the 1-0 win.
The game did not have a ton of runs, obviously but submitted two sidebar stories- the return of 2 time World Series champion(92-93) Cito Gaston as manager to the Blue Jays, as John Gibbons was fired today. Long time Toronto ace RH Roy Halladay(8-6,2.90 era) was struck by a hit ball in the 7th. The drive hit him in the right temple but Halladay appeared to nudge it with his glove. Jays teammates rushed to check on the Franchise and he was removed without pitching further, he was ok post game with only a bruise on his head.
Obviously incredible performances by both pitching staffs but both starters set the tone and did great work. Pirates LH Zach Duke(4-4,3.91) worked 7 innings with 6 hits allowed and 1 walk with 4 Ks. Halladay was Halladay, over his preinjury 7 innings, he also allowed 6 hits but K-ed 7 & walked 2.
Stars of the Game-
Both clubs pitching staffs– for a major league game to go 12 inning without a run, is incredible
3rd shutout of the season….Mientkiewicz (who started at 3b) had 3 of the 9 team hits to lead the Pittsburgh offense….RF Xavier Nady was put on the DL with his bruised left shoulder not improving. OF Nyjer Morgan was recalled to fill his roster spot, although Jason Michaels will get the lions share of playing time
Saturday 7:05 PNC Park
Pirates LH Paul Maholm(4-5,4.45) vs Blue Jays RH Jesse Litsch(7-3,3.70)
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