Paul Maholm regained his early season form, scattered hits over 7.2IP, and got 14 ground ball outs on his way to his seventh win of the year as the Pirates completed the sweep of the Brewers with a 3-1 win at PNC Park. Ronny Cedeno had his fourth homer in 18 games with the Bucs, a two-run shot in the second inning.
The Pirates sweep was the first since 2006, when the Bucs took a four game set in late May and June in Pittsburgh. How are the Pirates so good at home?
Mike Cameron and Alcides Escobar each had two hits for the beer makers who have lost four straight and were swept for the first time since June against the Tigers.
The defense provided double plays all over the place for Maholm last night. Delwyn Young looked much sharper with the pivot. We certainly have heard a lot about his work in the field. I think anyone hitting .312 consistently has a great glove, but seriously, Young has looked more comfortable at second in the past two weeks. I mean noticeably better.
Rocco’s show highlights…. 14 groundballs and 3 flyballs for Maholm, “my sinker was doing well, was able to throw my curveball and get ahead in counts, and the defense played well. My whole thing with the sinker is keep it thigh high and then drop below the knee, if it’s not there the ground ball will one hop and go through, when it’s there it will take a few hops.”
In the third inning, Andrew McCutchen reached, stole second and Young ripped an RBI double. Garrett Jones flew out to deep right field which moved Young to third. Andy LaRoche groundout to third and Ryan Doumit flew out to center to strand Young.
The Brewers flashed some great defense in the fifth. After an out, McCutchen ripped a drive which was a certain triple taken away on a great sliding catch in the right field corner. Young followed with another double and Jones was intentionally walked. LaRoche drove a ball to the left field wall which was gloved by Ryan Braun barely in front of a lunging fan.
In the sixth, Escobar had an infield single and a 6-4-3 double play ensued. Young is looking quicker with the feet. Are you seeing it? A double followed and brought Braun to the plate with his .317 average with RISP. Braun singled just under the glove of Cedeno.
Lastings Thrilledge (o-for-3 at the plate) was charging on the play and fired to Doumit who had to reach over his head to make the catch, he tried to swipe the tag to no avail and then fired to second too late to get Braun. No worries. Maholm was able to get Prince Fielder to end the sixth.
In the seventh, Maholm ripped a two strike pitch into left field just to the left of the chalk. He was able to hustle into second with a double. He was stranded however as Cutch swung at the first pitch and grounded out to third. Young ended the inning on a flyout to right field.
Maholm was able to get the first two outs of the eighth before surrendering a single to Cameron. Manager John Russell had seen enough and brought in Joel Hanrahan who got Braun to flyout to Milledge in left to end the inning.
Matt Capps would provide no drama in the ninth. Just a simple 1-2-3 inning. It did include a strikeout of Fielder who is now 0-for-7 against Capps.
Maholm would not attribute anything to an injury. It’s obvious something was wrong either a groin or knee injury. Maholm said, “having knee injury earlier in year might have gave me some bad habits.”
Maholm was hit by line drives twice, once in the left tricep in the fourth and then for a second time in the eighth inning he was hit in the left shin which he said, “hopefully I wont be limping too much at the golf tournament tomorrow (Pirates Charities Golf Tournament).”
Of Maholm snapping the 0-for-25 hitless streak with his double, “it bothered me to no end that I had the same amount of hits as Ohlendorff, he has to be the worst hitting pitcher. Although in practice, Ross can hit homeruns….he is awful.”
Phil Dumtrait was solid in his rehab work tonight. Perfect.
Brian Friday is getting hot. Pedro Alvarez hit another homer (his tenth). Tim Alderson 5IP 4K 3ER
Bryan Morris had a solid start and got the win for Lynchburg.
Brett Lorin (Wilson trade) issued six walks for West Virginia.
Shaq fought DeLaHoya last night in his latest try at Shaq vs… just got a feeling Shaq lost again, although…..he gets some rapid Sugar Ray like uppercuts in one round. Thanks TMZ for the video.
Hilarious post by Chris.
Who can argue about Joe Mauer? He is phenomenal and should be the MVP hands down. Hilarious post byFetch, just click here.
NOT THAT YOU CARE ANYMORE BUT:
Did you notice Bill Hall was sent to the Mariners? All you need to know about Hall is here from Ken over at Reviewing the Brew. What does this mean for Jack Wilson?