Sunday, April 08, 2007

Game 6: Pirates 6 Reds 3

The pregame storyline was Freddy Sanchez coming back from his knee injury and while Freddy played well, this one was all Zach Duke during the game. His linescore from this one doesn't look particularly great (3 earned runs in 6+ innings), but for 6 innings he completely dominated the Reds, allowing only two hits and striking out five. In fact, Duke only faced one batter over the minimum through six innings as one of the hits he allowed was a single to Ryan Freel that was immediately erased by Ronny Paulino with a caught stealing. Duke ran into some trouble in the seventh and failed to get an out, but his first six innings were downright impressive.

Freddy didn't miss a beat at the plate today, going 2-for-4, driving in a run, and scoring a run. Brad Eldred got his first start of the season and made the most of it by driving in a run with a double and adding a nice insurance homer in the seventh. In fact, the worst defensive outfield (Bay, Nady, Eldred, left to right) in history acquitted itself quite nicely at the plate with Nady, Eldred, and Bay all accounting for two hits and Bay adding a late homer that helped seal the game with Eldred's after the Reds closed the gap to 4-3 with their rally in the 7th.

The win ensures pretty much an opposite feeling at PNC Park for the home opener tomorrow from the feeling in 2006. Last year it was sunny and warm and the Pirates were 1-6 and already in last place. This year it's going to be cold, possibly snowy, and the Pirates are 4-2 and in a tie for first place. Should be interesting to see the atmosphere at the park tomorrow. I'm going to guess "positive."