Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game 12: Pirates 9 Reds 1

There was lots of good stuff that happened in this game, beyond the fact that the Pirates managed to win a game with Luis Rivas batting second. I thought the Bucs did a nice job against Johnny Cueto, who'd been mostly dominant before today, with Ryan Doumit picking up the first hit of the year by a lefty against Cueto by launching a ball into the right-center stands, Nate McLouth drawing the first walk of the year against him, and Xavier Nady burying the dagger with a three-run jack to make a 2-1 game a 5-1 game. Later on, after the Reds flubbed what should've been an easy inning-ending double play, Jason Bay ripped a three-run homer right when you were probably thinking, "I hope someone makes the Reds' pay for that screw up." So, yeah, 9 runs and an easy win are all good things.

The game wasn't all good, though. Gorzelanny looked not awful. He's still not getting his fastball much over 86 mph, which I think is a huge problem, but Bob Walk repeatedly assured viewers that "he just hasn't found his fastball yet." I have no idea how a pitcher "loses" a fastball, but he did keep the Reds from hitting him hard through most of the game, which is how he stayed effective. Still, 4 walks and 1 K is not going to get the job done against most people. More bad news came in the form of Luis Rivas, mostly because it was hinted that we're going to see a whole lot of him this year. When talking about Freddy getting the day off to rest his shoulder, one of the two guys in the booth relayed a comment from Freddy that was along the lines of, "I can't go on like this all year." That sounds ominous to me.

It was nice to see the Pirates bounce back from their ugly sweep at the hands of the Cubs and win some baseball games against a team that's not terribly good this weekend. They're facing the possibility of being completely ignored by everyone but the most die-hard fans until the Penguins' playoff run ends, but at least they're not throwing in the towel. And hey, let's be honest with ourselves, every game they win with Luis Rivas in the starting lineup is some kind of minor miracle.