Results tagged ‘ Andy LaRoche ’
RAISE THE JOLLY ROGER…18-21
A fun game in the nation’s capital.
This game had it all. Happiness, sadness, despair, but in the end, glory.
It took ten innings but the Pirates prevailed 8-5. The Bucs jumped out to an early 5-0 lead thanks in part to an Andy LaRoche homerun.
LaRoche connected on a pitch and belted it deep into the left field seats. He went just 1-3 but the homer gave the Bucs are nice lead cushion and the best chance to win the game. He now has a 5 game hitting streak and an average of .254. The sky is the limit for this kid if he can come through liek he did today.
Today’s game was also headlined by the other LaRoche. Adam followed in his bro’s footsteps, not with a homerun but with a pair of RBI.
Adam was hitless on the today and was on the brink of going 0-4. He had other plans and drilled a sharp line drive into right field. 2 runs scored and the jubilation would begin as another run would be added thanks to an RBI by Ramon Vazquez. To put this game away liek the Pirates did was fantastic. Everything came together on the offensive side and that translated to the W.
The Pittsburgh ballclub had their scare. In the sixth inning the Nats threatened and scored 4 runs over the course of the next few innings. The biggest irk came in the ninth with a Nick Johnson triple. Johnson would come in to score after a Sean Burnett wild pitch. Burnett would be replaced by Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzo closed the game out and picked up the win.
Seeing Gorzo warm up was both encouraging and threatening. Watching teh game with my father, we discussed how Tom would fit back into the mix for the Bucs. I believe he will work best in the pen. Thanks to short term work he will be well rested and can easily come in and get the job done, much like he did tonight. My father, his passion is the main reason I am a Pirate fan belives different. He feels Gorzo had his chance and blew it. He was scarry on the mound as a starter and just seeing him up with the club gives my pops the shivers.
Well, Tom did get the job done, but this night belonged to the Brothers LaRoche. There are two more games to be played in Washington against the Nats. A good sign for the Bucs to creep closer and closer to that .500 mark.
It’s no question Chris Carpenter is back. Earning his first win since late 2006 Carpenter came out and dismissed the Pirates like they were a little league team.
Carpenter went 7 innings only allowing one hit which also came in the seventh inning. The former CY Young winner struck out seven Bucco batters.
Freddy Sanchez, who has been the hottest Pirates at the plate and leads the team with a .444 BA said plain and simply that Carpenter was “filthy”
Crapenter’s superb outing overshadowed Pirate starter Ross Ohlendorf’s solid outing. Ohlendorf went six innings allowing two earne druns on six hits. He was surely effective, but just fell apart in the 6th inning due to shaky defense from Sanchez at 2nd.
If Pirate starters can continue to remain effective like Ohlendorf was today, there should be no problem wiining ball games. Holding a team, especially the Cardinals, to two runs is no easy feat and the Pirates should not feel too bad about this loss. I’m not one to hang my head for moral victories and the Pirates should feel the same. As a major league ball club runs should be put on the board and one hit is something that should never happen again. The offense is surely not what it was last year with Bay and Nady, but with the seasoned vets we have in the lineup, everybody should be a threat.
Well now that one series is in the books let’s look back at the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY from the first 4 games.
THE GOOD: NYJER MORGAN
There’s nothing better than silencing your critics. Morgan has had his share of haters throughout his entire career and rightfully so, he had big shoes to fill. It’s never easy to step into the starting role of a major league left fielder. More so, it’s hard to replace a perenial All-Star. After the departure of Jason Bay the Pirates needed someone to step in and act as a Bay. While Morgna lacks the pop of Bay he provides a spark at the top of the lineup and speed in the field. After a Sportscenter top 10 play from Thursday’s game and a .316 batting avergae for the first four games Morgan is proving his worth and shushing the critics. HE BELONGS HERE.
THE BAD: IAN SNELL
Out to prove last season’s dismal performances were a fluke, Snell got off to a horrendous start. After Maholm’s 6 inning one earned run outing on opening day Snell came out the next day and fell flat. Snell only made it through 4 innings after being thrown to the showers. Number 45 gave up six earned runs and Cardinal batters abused him for 9 hits. Not only did Snell’s era skyrocketed to 13 after just one start he also had trouble finsing the strike zone. He only walked 3 batters but gave the hitters favorable counts to work with. Now the Cardinals have a history of toying with Snell . Pujols took him deep as well Chris Duncan. He was rocked to all parts of the field and had no command at all. Snell pitched in the World baseball classic and did somehwhat fine. He didn’t pick up any wins and only allowed a few runs in the big games he pitched. A shortened spring training could be a valuable excuse for Snell. However, with the rest of the rotation doing well Snell will have to step up for his own sake.
THE UGLY: DEFENSE
Ugly is a very generous term for the play of the Pirate denefense. Apalling, Grotesque, Hideous and Putrid also come to mind. Missed pop flys, bases over thrown, bassed balls. O MY. 3 erros in 2 game for Andy LaRoche, overthrows by Sanchez and John Grabow and inexcusable passed balls and a freaking catcher’s interference call by catch Ryan Doumit. Even Nyjer Morgan, who has been very crisp in teh field has over run some balls and misjusdged teh flight path of fly balls. It’s very dementing for a fan to see the sloppy play by these guys. I can only imagine how manager John Russell and even the pitcher’s feel when routine plays are bothced. It’s very shameful.
Heading down the Ohio River, Pittsburgh will take on the Cincinatti Reds for a three game series over the weekend.
4. espn.com (ap photo)
2008: BA=.318 HR=15 RBI=69
2009: BA- .285 HR= 22 RBI=95
2008: BA=.270 HR=25 RBI=85
2009: BA=.280 HR=27 RBI= 90
2008: BA= .271 HR= 9 RBI= 52
2009: BA= .268 HR=13 RBI=60
2008: BA= .152 HR= 3 RBI= 12
2009: BA= .270 HR= 17 RBI= 70
2008: BA= .272 HR= 1 RBI= 22
2009: BA= .248 HR= 8 RBI= 45
2008: BA= .294 HR= 0 RBI= 7
2009: BA= .250 HR= 4 RBI= 38
2008: BA= .276 HR= 26 RBI= 94
2009: BA= .270 HR= 18 RBI= 80
2008: BA=.222 HR= 6 RBI= 23
2009: BA=.240 HR= 17 RBI= 45
The one thing missing in this lineup is definitely the power. It will also be interesting to see how many of these penciled in starters will still have their jobs in tact come September. Morgan, Moss and An. LaRoche are the biggest liabilities at their respective positions. With top notch prospects and a solid bench knocking down the door, competition will be prevalent throughout the season. “Only the strong survive” Who will be the strong for the Buccos this season?