Freddy Sanchez and Jeff Karstens had a Fish fry last night as the Pirates beat the Marlins 3-2. A single, double (he leads the league in this category), and a game winning home run lifted a dejected Pirates club that found out Ryan Doumit will be out of action for 8-10 weeks with a fractured wrist that will require surgery.
Karstens made his second start of the season. In his first outing this year, he walked five batters, and gave up three runs in 4IP. He also had a rough spring going 0-2 with a 6.17ERA over three starts and six appearances. He gave up 11 runs in 13.2 IP. He was on a six game losing skid. Since that infamous two-hit shutout in Arizona he was 0-6.
Well that is over. Karstens became the last of the Pirates pitchers to have a solid outing. Coming into the game I saw an interesting fact thanks to VP of Statistics at Rumbunter, Pops. Here it is…. when Karstens works at least 6 innings, he is 4-4 with a 2.85 ERA (66IP/21ER). Great work Pops.
Karstens worked six. Got the victory. Gave up a run and three hits.
Jason Jaramillo. (JHammer) Get used to him. He certainly looks comfortable. I was impressed with several things, not the least being, he isn’t afraid to go out to the mound and talk with his pitching staff. Yes, it’s his pitching staff now.
Two on with two out in the first, Karstens battled with Dan Uggla finally working a full count and then Uggla ground sharply to third where Andy LaRoche gloved it in the hole and fired across the diamond to get the Pirates out of the jam
Nyjer Morgan got right back on the basepaths with a single, his 20th hit of the season, in the bottom of the first to get the Pirates rolling.
Sanchez lined a seeing eye single past a diving Uggla to move Morgan over to second.
93 mile per hour heaters were consistent from Florida’s Anibal Sanchez who had a 1.64 ERA through two starts .
Nate McLouth flew out to center allowing Morgan to move over to third. LaRoche took an 0-1 pitch and smacked it up the middle to plate Morgan.
Brandon Moss killed the rally with a double play. Three hits one run. Ouch. The top of the order is so consistent. Would you switch the batting order? Please let me know.
Neverett on the 104.7 call for the Pirates. “This is hit deep to left field…” Pause for two seconds. Seems like an eternity. Foul ball. What the?
Three up three down for Karstens in second. Smell the shutout?
3B LaRoche led off with a double down the left field line and then Jhammer just crushed a double off the top of the Clemente wall and it was 2-0 Bucs.
Karstens walked Baker with two outs. Ramirez blasts double off 399 which plated Baker. Steve Blass said, “the headline reads: Pirates scored on this week!”
Moss stole a hit to strand Ramirez with a diving, ESPN Top Ten Nominee play. 2-1 Bucs headed to bottom of third.
Sanchez blasts a 91 mile per hour fastball, tomahawk style, into the leftfield seats 3-1 Bucs. “I tip my hat to this guy,” Anibal Sanchez said. “I don’t know how he made contact with that pitch.”
Karstens starts the fifth inning by walking the first batter. This brought up the pitcher, Sanchez, who fouled off the first pitch with a poor bunt attempt as he swatted at the ball late. He reached way off the plate and bunted the next offering foul, 0-2 count. Karstens threw a nice slider and struck out Sanchez. The art of bunting is lost on the Marlins.
Karstens got ahead 0-2 on Bonifacio. Karstens then came up and in and got a foul ball, Karstens went away and Bonifacio reached for it swatting it away again, foul. Karstens reached back and threw a fastball high, outside, Bonifacio fouled another fastball straight back, and then a nasty pitch in the dirt and Bonifacio was fooled, tried to check his swing. He was called out. Jhammer threw out runner at second base. His second laser throw in as many games. Keep this up kid and the word is going to get out. Inning over.
Sanchez is a beast, in bottom of fifth he hit a shot to right. It bounced five feet in front of a sliding Jeremy Hermedia in right field. Hermedia got just enough glove on the ball after the bounce to slow the ball from rolling to the wall. As the ball was retrieved, Freddy went into second base, standing, with his eighth double of the year. He was stranded when McLouth struck out swinging.
Sanchez has eight multi hit games this year
Laroche 3b walked. The power of the bunt was about to show. Looking for a bunt base hit as he has been known to do, Jack Wilson placed a hard bunt down the third base line. His hustle caused a bad throw by Sanchez.
Intentional walk to Jhammer loaded the bases for Eric Hinske. He provided no drama for the screaming fans. Just a weak roller to first base to leave them loaded.
Nyjer nice bunt attempt. He was just thrown out by an inch. Nearly a bunt base hit.
Freddy Sanchez struckout on a wicked change from Annibal Sanchez, it was his sixth and last strikeout of the game. Sanchez pitched seven innings, gave up three runs on seven hits.
Eighth inning 3-1 Bucs. Looks like clear sailing, right?
Tyler Yates got out of a jam in the seventh with a double play, but he didn’t make it out of the eighth. Super prospect Cameron Maybin crushed Yates 95 mile per hour offering as he hit his first homer of the season over 383 in left. A pretty nice blast. (It was his first home run since he connected for his first career home run off Roger Clemens at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 18, 2007.) 3-2 Bucs.
John Grabow then got the call. The first batter popped up to Jarmillo on the first pitch from the left hander. Then it got interesting.
Bottafacio fell behind 0-2 on Grabow. He then battled back to full count before he placed a single into short right field. Ronny Paulino was greeted with boos by the PNC Park crowd as he stepped in to pinch hit. A .212 hitter for the Bucs last season, Paulino worked Grabow for a walk putting runners on first and second with one out for the Fish.
Hanny Ramirez, the most dangerous hitter for the Marlins, stepped in and took a breaking ball for a strike. He fell behind 0-2 after fouling off the changeup from Grabow. The outfield was deep and with the speedster Bottaficio on second, Ramirez took the next three pitches and fouled off one to force a 3-2 count. Grabow threw the changeup and with the runners moving, Ramirez popped out to Sanchez as the infield fly was called.
Grabow fell behind 3-0 to the lefty Ross Gload before a strike and a foul ball brought another full count and with the runners taking off with Grabow’s pitch, he made Gload look silly as he swung and missed at some nasty stuff, a changeup down and away.
The Bucs went one, two, three in the bottom of eighth providing no cushion for Matt Capps as he came on to close out the ninth.
Breaking ball strike one. Nice start Capps against Uggla. He then missed with three straight pitches before, with another full count, Uggla hit a grounder to the left of a diving Jack Wilson who gloved it and gunned Uggla in a close play at first.
A single by Hermidia followed and then a bouncer to 3b LaRoche was fielded and turned into double play for the win which put the Pirates two games above 500 for the first time since 2007.
**Andy LaRoche has eight hits in his last 19 at bats after that 0-18 start.
**The wind looked pretty strong last night at PNC Park. It appeared to hold up a few of the balls caught at the warning track.
**Our man John Daly and his girlfriend make the news. Former Hooters girl, now Daly’s girl, Anna Cladakis has a nice quote and picture on this link. You might not recognize John Daly, he has a new look after Lap-Band surgery.