If you were watching the Pens game, we understand. Don’t worry. You will definently see portions of this Pirates victory again. It will be the Pirates 2010 Highlight Video Win.
You know the one that you will see in all of the commercials next year. The Pirates earned this one tonight. I have a feeling we will see a few more of these big victories if the Pirates don’t turn into sellers soon.
Pirate Manager John Russell called Johan Santana “probably the best pitcher in the game.”
Steve Blass called it “probably the most satisfying win of the year.”
Rocco called it ”the best played game of the year.”
Ahhh, the Bucs are earning this high praise after a great victory in front of very few fans (10,500), and even fewer watching at home I’m sure. It’s a shame. It was a fantastic win. Here are the video highlights [MLB]
Duke is showing sustained success. He outpitched Santana tonight. The defense from his teammates was rock solid. McLouth, Moss, LaRoche, JHammer, Sanchez….a pile of solid plays. As Teke said. “Duke’s consistency is his best indicator of success. He is throwing that sinker and getting ground balls. He must retain this feeling to become that EVERYDAY EVERY YEAR type of starter. He must be consistent. He is showing that he can do that.”
In the second inning, Duke got the pitchers best friend on a comeback one hopper that Zach tossed to Jack Wilson, who was in the vicinity of second base, when he fired to 1B LaRoche
Santana just has that confident look. He knows he has a bagfull of pitches. Just looks like he is the man and then he delivers(literally) great stuff. He leads the NL in strikeouts except tonight he only would rack up three.
His second inning was just wicked. Did you see that changeup he threw to LaRoche? His arm action…ugh…well, you know what I mean. Santana has such a filthy changeup.
He was perfect through ten batters. The next ten would tell the tale however.
Although far from perfect tonight, Duke was just as confident, but he has the mental makeup right now that allows him to focus so intently. I mean… think about how confident he must be to pitch like he has this year? Mental toughness is showing with each and every start he makes. He is back to the young star we saw his first year. Exciting stuff.
In the fourth the wheels started to wobble for NL ERA leader Santana. Sanchez had a broken bat hustling double which busted up the perfection. McLouth flew out. 1BLaRoche had a great at bat. Santana wouldn’t give in on a full count. Twice. Ball four walked him and then his younger brother 3B LaRoche came up batting .438 in his last eleven games, but there were no dramatic hits. He grounded into a forceout on Santana’s first pitch. .
The one run that Duke gave up was tough. He got a 3-1 nasty…74mph curve over to Luis castillo for a strike. Then came that sacrifice fly.
JHammers first career homer came off Santana in the fifth inning. Get better quick Ryan. Nyjer Morgan was also tossed in the fifth inning. Nyjer had just grounded into his first double play in his career. (512 plate appearances.)
He threw his helmet and was immediately ejected by the Crew Chief Tim McLelland. Perry Hill attempted to keep Nyjer from going after him, but Nyjer made certain his voice was heard. JR even came out to express his displeasure with the missed call.
The Bucs put two more runs on the scoreboard the next inning when Sanchez singled, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on the clutch double by McLouth. 1B LaRoche ‘took his place on second base,’ Greg Brown said with his RBI double.
Takahashi was awful respectful last night. Five times he bowed his head and even gave a tip of the cat to Manuel after he was taken out of the game. Takahashi got 1B LaRoche to groundout after a Nate one out triple into the right field corner. Ian Snell were you watching?
Grabow threw five pitches to get through the eighth inning.
Bullrider Matt Capps came on to close out the ninth. He was looking for his twelfth save of the season. His WHIP is .85 in his last five appearances.
Here is how he got the 1-2-3 ninth:
Sanchez made a nice play ranging to his left to snare a hard hit grounder and nail the first out. A popout to JHammer was the second out–it was precarious when his left Nike steped on a bat in the on-deck circle as he caught the second out. A grounder to Sanchez was the final out.
Duke had his juke.
Lots of glovework.
3-1 victory for the Bucs.
Pirate of the Game: Nate. He had a clutch double off Santana. A triple that he legged out. McLouth is turning on the ball and shows no signs of his oblique injury earlier in the seasn. He even picked up an outfield assist on a great play at the plate when McLouth’s throw tailed and JHammer went up the line to grab it and nail Jeremy Reed with a sweeping tag on his keister. Heh Reed the coach had the stop sign up in the coaches box.
By the way, McCutchen is slugging .500 in AAA. Can we please bring him up now?
Michael Dubee. What else does he need to do in order to get out of A ball? 26IP, just two walks and an amazing 40 strikeouts…