The Bucs need a win tonight. Paul Maholm will need to go deep into the game and provide his teammates a mental lift after getting thumped in back to back games. Charlie Morton will pitch tomorrow and I believe the Bucs could steal this series from the Giants with Morton on the hill. But does Charlie believe it? That’s the big question mark. I think Morton will win tomorrow.
The Pirates need some momentum coming into the first weekend homestand of the season. Division rivals will be in town Friday and this young team needs some confidence. Sending McCutchen out in Ohlendorf’s spot doesn’t excite me. Sending Ohlie to the hill if his back still hurts doesn’t excite me either. But we don’t need to look ahead, we know what lies ahead.
So back to the point, the Pirates need a win tonight. Maholm is the leader on this staff. He does it by example. So do what you do Paul. We will worry about my dream of stealing the series tomorrow. Keep them off balance, get ahead, and pitch your pitch.
AT&T Park | 7:15 PM PT
Paul Maholm, LHP (0-1, 6.00)
Pirates: In his last start Maholm gave up four runs in six innings. He walked two and struck out three. It wasn’t pretty. I have the pictures to prove it at this link. For some reason, Maholm felt ok with the start. He mentioned he felt confident in his change and the slow curveball after not having them in spring training. He said it came down to two pitches? Funny, we saw a lot of balls hit hard.
I am optimisitc that Maholm will get it done tonight. He pitched twice against the Giants last season dueling Lincecum on July 17, but not getting a decision despite pitching 8 innings and allowing just one earned run. He also threw 6 innings on July 27, getting the loss when he allowed three runs. Maholm has a 2.85 ERA in his six career starts against the Giants. He threw a complete game against Cain in 2007.
Matt Cain, RHP (0-0, 4.05)
Giants: Cain pitched strong against Houston in his 2010 debut last Wednesday. He went 6.2 innings, but surrendered three of the four runs he allowed in the final inning he was on the hill. He struckout five and walked none. Cain will be making his 139th start tonight in his sixth big league season. Cain was stellar in two starts against the Pirates last year, posting a 1-0 record with a 0.56 ERA.
He logged nine scoreless innings in a July 29th start against the Bucs. Cain had a breakout year last season throwing 217 innings and had a career low 2.89 ERA.
Pablo Sandoval has an eleven game hitting streak if you look at the end of last year. (Sorry, we are still stuck on this guy) He is hitting over .400 in that stretch of games.