Diamondbacks Pound Jackson Back To Minors with 11-6 Victory, Sweep Pirates


The Pittsburgh Pirates fell to the hard hitting Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 in 12 innings last night at PNC Park.  The Diamondbacks pounded Pirates pitchers for 21 hits, sending one to the minors after the game, and captured the win with a five run 12th inning.

Ugly game notes:

Kevin Hart touched 96 on the gun tonight.  His FX graph over at the Brooks Baseball site shows his impressive stuff.  Click here to check it out.  Great stuff.

The key for Hart’s outing.  Fifth inning.  Score tied at 2.  Runner on second.  He battled.  3-2 count.  Numerous foul balls.  Didn’t give in.  Got the strikeout, on a breaking ball, to end the inning.  Crucial.  Why?

Next inning, leadoff hitter is the deadly 3B Mark Reynolds at the plate, Hart ran into trouble when Reynolds hit his 33rd homer a 446′ bomb into the Pirates bullpen to give Snakes the 3-2 lead.

Moral of the story.  Attack.  Hart did it  in the fifth.  And although he did give up the Reynolds homer in the sixth, it was a solo shot.

So far the Cubs trade looks good. When did you see Gorzo throw in a dominant manner in the last two yrs? No nibbling..hard strikes.  Hart has solid bite to his breaking balls.

Hart recorded another strikeout with runners on first (Harts only walk– an intentional walk) and third to end the sixth.

Hart ended with 6IP. 9 hits, 3ER and 5 strikeouts.  ERA is 2.94

Scream Loudly.  The Pirates can’t bunt.

In the sixth inning, Andy LaRoche couldn’t get the bunt down.  He was saved when a wild pitch moved the runners over to second and third. LaRoche behind 0-2 in the count grounded to third.

Ronny Cedeno (2-for-5) chased Diamondbacks starter Max Scherzer after 5.1 innings with an RBI single, a slapper off the mound following LaRoche’s very Little League approach to the basics.

And then Steve Pearce greeted the Snakes reliever Juan Gutierrez with a gap shot double that he hustled into a triple. The throw home was late. Cedeno scored. Montero threw the ball into left as Pearce slid into third which allowed Pearce to score (looking over his shoulder?)

Cutch reached on error and was stranded again. The Bucs stranded his no out leadoff double earlier in the game as well.

No worries right?  The New Bucs scored four runs to grab the 6-3 lead.

The trouble?  The New Bucs play nine innings, not seven.

Stephen Drew drilled his eighth homer of the year off Jeff Karstens in the seventh to make it 6-4. Karstens relief ERA is getting blown up lately (3.74 now).

Sparkling grab by Andy LaRoche followed the Drew homer in the seventh. Great catch in the left field corner with Cedeno sliding under his spikes as LaRoche speared the ball out of the air as he ran full speed toward the mid left field seats. It was the only out recorded by Karstens (homer, two singles).

Jeff Karstens in the last 7.2IP has given up 10ER, 17 hits, two walks which is a 2.48 WHIP.   Any explanation?  Same guy who had 12 scoreless IP prior to this trainwreck? 

Speaking of the LaRoche brothers, it is nice to see Adam LaRoche on the highlights again. How does he own August and September? Makes me wonder what he could do in October?

Jesse Chavez relieved Karstens and got the Pirates fans singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game as the fans clung to a one run lead as Chavez recorded outs against the only two batters he faced. However, one ground ball scored a run to make it 6-5 New Bucs.

Snakes reliever Scott Schoeneweis looks like a barrell chested, cobra eating, hardcore Army Staff Sgt.  that so many of us knew in the service.  Good God, his wife died this year. Great courage my man. Great pitching tonight. 1.1 scoreless, hitless innings tonight.  We never cheer for the opposition, but can you give me a pass here?

The Eighth Inning curse struck again when the Aussie Trent Oeltjen hit a 324 foot drive off Chavez over the Clemente wall for his first homer of the year which tied the game at six.  The rookie who replaced Upton had a monster game, the homer, a single, two stolen bases on the night.

The Pirates have been outscored 63-27 in the eighth inning.

Auggie Ojeda ripped a double to follow.  And somehow Chavez got out of the inning in impressive fashion stranding everyone.

The Pirates have been outscored 19 to 4 from the seventh inning to the ninth in this homestand against the Snakes.   (UPDATE: 24 runs for Arizon to 4 runs for the Pirates finishes the series this year which saw the Snakes take six of seven.)

Next inning Jeff Salazer walked. Stole second. Cutch was walked to get to Lastings Milledge who grounded out to third.  Milledge ruined the golden opportunity to achieve hero status in a win starved PNC Park.

Parra struckout against closer Matt Capps to start the ninth in good morning, good afternoon, and good evening fashion.

Capps gave Reynolds, the number two man in the NL home run standings, a chin breeze with a 1-1 inside heater.  Capps then blew a 95 mph vapor past Reynolds for his second strikeout of the night. Capps jumped ahead on Montero with strong, agressive heat in the 95 to 97 mph range before getting Montero looking to end the inning.

Capps had an impressive night.  His release point was nearly perfect on FX graphs, check it out here at Brooks Baseball along with his velocity and command.

Clay Zavada who sports a Rollie Fingers mustache  (Click here to see the picture, come on it’s Friday  it is sick…) struckout Jones to start the ninth. Ryan Doumit hit a bloop single to RF for his first hit on the night (1-for-6). Chad Tracy gloved a foulout and Brandon Moss flew out to send the game to extra innings.

Capps remained on in the tenth (first time since late last season). Chad Tracy battled nine pitches from Capps before Tracy ripped a single to center. Doumit grabbed a poor bunt, that was a few feet in front of the plate, and gunned the ball to Cedeno to get Tracy at second base for the first out of the tenth.

Capps got ahead 0-2 and then struck him out.  Capps’ fourth strikeout. Oeltjen, who reached on that poor bunt, stole second. Chris Snyder fell behind 0-2, fought back with patience to a 2-2 count, and then rolled to Jones at first who tossed the ball to the big bull rider covering the bag to end the tenth.

Capps finished with 31 pitches, 24 for strikes.  5 sliders, a curve, a change, and the other 24?  Smoke.

LaRoche flew out to start the tenth. Cedeno fell behind 1-2 before striking out to the ‘wax stached’ one who remained on in the tenth. Cruz grounded out to second to end the quiet tenth inning for the New Bucs.

Steven Jackson’s first pitch was driven to the Clemente wall in right field by Drew. Moss jumped up to catch the ball for the first out drawing a large sigh from the PNC Park faithful. Jackson fell behind 3-1 before Romero got his third hit of the night ( he ended up 4-for-7), the Snakes 16th hit of the night.

Parra got a single through the right side as Jones was holding Romero on first. Chris Young, batting .195 in over 300 plate appearances this year, pinch hit and jumped out to a 2-1 count with Snakes on first and third and one out. An apparent check swing was called safe and on the next Jackson pitch Young took ball four to load the bases.

Jackson jumped out 0-2 on Montero before striking him out with a nasty sinking heater. Doumit thought the Pirates had two outs, but quickly came back to cover the plate. Tracy ground out to Cedeno which allowed Jackson to charge back to the dugout with the score still tied at six.

Jon Rauch came on to face the top of the Pirates order. Cutch, on a 2-1 count hit a ball down the line that took an odd hop and was barehanded by Tracy. The throw to first wasn’t in time.

Milledge couldn’t get a bunt down (story of the game for the New Bucs as he couldn’t do it in the fifth either) and fell behind 1-2 before jamming an inside heater over the glove of SS Drew putting runners on first and second with nobody out.   Nice work Lastings.

Jones ripped the first pitch inches foul? Jones would strike out for the first out of the inning without moving the runners. Doumit flew out to shallow left.

Cutch and Milledge were still standing on second and first. Delwyn Young, behind 0-2 in the count, battled Rauch before striking out, leaving Cutch stranded again ( and Milledge this time.)

Milledge had a solid night, not spectacular.  Can’t help but wonder how much he is trying to not be himself.  You know, he is a hot dog.  He is acting like a choir boy at the moment.  Perhaps that is a good thing?  Don’t feel it.

Can’t help but wonder how Cutch feels about his teammates offensive prowess after being stranded so many times tonight.  Cutch reached base on four of six plate appearances tonight.  Can’t even get into it…never mind.   Cutch scored once.   Just read about his production on his stats page.

Jackson stayed on and got one quick out before Ojeda drilled a single to center. Snyder drilled a double past LaRoche for the Snakes 19th hit. Stephen Drew was intentionally walked bringing the red hot left handed hitting Romero to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. Romero absolutely smacked a two run line drive double over the head of Cutch in CF making it 8-6 Snakes.

Romero finished 4-for-7 with 3RBI and 2 runs scored.

Dan Haren (yeh the pitcher) pinch hit, after an intentional walk, to re-load the bases. Haren got a sacrifice fly RBI but it took a nice slide to barely beat the throw by Cutch. A single followed to right and the throw from Moss was up the third base line and misplayed into another run.

A flyout ended the pain for Jackson, but bot before the Snakes grabbed an 11-6 lead in less than two minutes. It took maybe two minutes for the Snakes to snatch the series sweep.

And two minutes for Jackson to get sent back down to AAA.

Who said baseball is boring?

The New Bucs managed only eleven hits to 21 for the Diamondbacks.

Ugh…Four winnable games, the last two vs Nats and the last two against the Snakes.

Why CAN’T WE BUNT?  Seriously.

Two big questions thrown around by many readers tonight…

Is Steve Pearce for real?
NL Rookie of the Month Garrett Jones for fake?


Did you know, Bob Walk once threw 183 pitches in one game. “Wasn’t even the most on the staff that year,  Rick Mahler threw 186.”

Tabata had two more hits last night.  He is hitting .381 in AAA.  See you soon kid.

Pedro was 2-for-4 bumping the average to .308.

Jeff Clement hit another homer tonight in AAA. He is hitting .391 at Indy.