Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Game 39: Pirates 8 Cardinals 4

It's very early to be excited about the Pirates surprising run of recent success, but I will say this: tonight's game was a game that they lose a lot and it was really nice to see them pull a win out of this one. They had an early lead, but watched it slip away when Phil Dumatrait ran out of gas and gave up a home run to Troy Glaus, then they fought back to take another lead, only to watch it disappear when Albert Pujols homered, then they loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and something funny happened. Ryan Ludwick swung at the first pitch, even though Marino Salas was working in his big league debut with the bases loaded, the game on the line, and three walks allowed in the inning (even though one was intentional and one was close). He popped that ball up into right field, Nady hauled it in, and the Pirates scored four runs in the top of the tenth and won. Huh. Didn't see that one coming.

In reality it shouldn't be that surprising that the Pirates won, mostly because they got a good start and good bullpen work and that leads to teams being in games. The big star at the plate was none other than Ronny Ballgame himself, playing in the stead of the injured Ryan Doumit, who doubled in they tying run in the seventh after Glaus's homer and knocked in the go ahead run in the tenth. It'd be nice if he'd start hitting, too because Doumit's injury is a fractured thumb and he's out indefinitely. I've honestly never seen a guy get injured in so many different seemingly freak ways. I really am starting to wonder if he's made out of glass and beef jerky, held together by spiderwebs (two spiderweb references in two posts ... weird, and yet both 100% necessary).

As a side note, the guy we roughed up for four runs in the tenth inning was none other than Ron Villone, our opening day starter in 2002. I know what you're thinking and in what order you're thinking those thoughts, so let me try and deal with them for you:

  1. Ron Villone is still alive? Yes, he is.
  2. Villone was our opening day starter 2002? Sadly, yes.
  3. Wait, 2002 was a long time ago. He must be good if he's still in the league, right? Wrong.
People are wondering if the Cardinals are for real and they've got Ron Villone on their team? There's your answer.

And finally- congrats to Marino Salas for pitching out of a jam and getting his first big league victory. Facing the heart of the Cardinals' order in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth certainly earned him this one.