The Pirates were down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Garrett Jones led off the inning by battling Brewers reliever Axford. It gave me hope that the Bucs were going to pull out the game late against the Brewers again. Jones ripped a low fastball into right field for a single. Pedro Alvarez had a great at-bat and worked a walk. The table was set. Two on nobody out.
Ryan Doumit who has done well in the late innings against the Brewers this year came to the plate. Doumit had killed a rally in his last at-bat by hitting a double play ball. Doumit took the first pitch for a ball. Axford’s second pitch was a big breaking ball that he dropped in for a strike. Nice pitch. Axford blew a heater past Doumit for strike two. Then Doumit got new life when a foul tip was dropped b the catcher. Axford tossed a hanging breaking ball and Doumit took an Allegheny swing, got a piece of it, but this time the catcher hung on.
Ryan Church struck out looking. It was clearly a strike, but Church wasn’t happy about it and barked at home plate umpire Manny the squeeze master as he walked to the dugout.
White hot Ronny Cedeno came to the plate two for three with a triple and the lone Pirates RBI. Two more strikes. Both looking. Both times Cedeno didn’t agree with the call. Down in the count 0-2, Cedeno went with an outside pitch and grounded to second base. Rickie Weeks ranged to his left, gloved the ball, and tossed to Prince Fielder who initially lunged for the ball, but Fielder recovered and got to the bag to end it.
It was fitting. The two Brewers who provided the offense ended the game with a pretty nice defensive play to get Cedeno by a half step. Weeks hit his 18th homer, this one a two-run blast. Prince Fielder had a solo shot that was enough for the Brewers.
Jeff Karstens pitched insanely well. He was perfect until the Fielder opposite field blast started off the fourth inning. Karstens was finished after six innings. He allowed just three hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. Karstens threw 66 pitches. He fired 53 strikes. Karstens mixed speeds and kept the Brewers off balance until the homeruns did him in for the night.
Karstens threw just five pitches from the stretch all night. One of those pitches was the two-run blast by Weeks that scored Carlos Gomez. The speedster had reached after Pirates 1B Garrett Jones threw a ball into foul territory as he was attempting to throw a ball to Walker who was covering second on a Gomez bunt.
–Did you notice on the Cedeno triple in the fifth inning, how Alvarez stutter steps at third to run in more of a straight line toward the plate?
–Alvarez had three more walks.
–Karstens last three starts: 17 innings with eight earned runs.
–Lastings Milledge has a seven game hitting streak.
–What was Neil Walker doing in the first inning? Did he think he was still batting third?
–Tyler Waldron was hot tonight for State. Go Beavers. 5IP. 1H. 5K’s.