Bucs Prepare for Sweep of Dodgers

The business man special today at PNC Park will be a great way to close out the homestand. Especially with workhorse Paul Maholm on the mound for the Pirates.  How pissed are the Dodgers?

The Pirate pitchers are always taught to work the count.  How nice was it to see Ross Ohlendorf earn two walks off Clayton Kershaw last night?

The Dodgers had two hits in 16 at bats with runners in scoring position against the Bucs last evening. 

How does Russ Ortiz not give up a run against the Pirates?

Rafeal Furcal attempted to steal 18 bases all of last season.  Last night Furcal swiped two bags in two attempts.  Each time the steal occured after Pirate pitchers issued a free pass.

Jonathan Broxton, the Dodger stud closer, watched from the bullpen last night.  I have to believe it would have been a different game for the Bucs had Broxton pitched rather than Ramon Ortiz

The L.A. Times did a nice article on relying on young pitchers concluding that it rarely leads to World Series titles.  25-year old Billingsley will be on the hill today. 

Billingsley appeared on his way to a breakout season, going 9-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 14 starts through June 14 and making the All-Star team.

Then the right-hander unraveled, going 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA from June 19 on and getting left out of the playoff rotation.

Billingsley still can’t provide a definitive explanation of what happened, but he thinks a hamstring injury might have affected his mechanics, and that once his performance slipped, he couldn’t overcome the doubts that crept into his head.

Tags: Chad Billingsley Paul Maholm

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