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Pregame: Bring out the Dead

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SAN FRANCISCO — There was a sense of workmanlike satisfaction with a job well done late Monday night (early this morning for those of y’nz back home) when the Pirates snapped their 10-game losing skid by blanking the Giants, 5-0. But there was no excessive celebrations, no champagne and (thankfully!) no Wilson Phillips blasting on the clubhouse stereo system.

Ryan Ludwick didn’t attach any special significance to beating the defending World Series champs on their home turf: “I’ll take a win anywhere to break a (losing) streak. When I was traded to San Diego last year, we went through a 10-game skid, too. It’s tough, but there’s still a lot of time left in the season. The Giants are a good team. To get a win after (going 0-7 against) two teams (the Cubs and Padres) that weren’t doing as well, to come back and show confidence in ourselves, that’s big.”

»»» Even in a relatively easy victory, the Pirates were not perfect. “There were a couple things that raised our eyebrows, especially in that ninth inning,” manager Clint Hurdle said. Andrew McCutchen began the ninth with a double. Garrett Jones singled. Neil Walker then grounded into an unusual 4-6-2 double play — Jones was forced out at second and McCutchen, who hesitated before breaking, was thrown out at the plate. Walker then was caught stealing, an easy out at second base. Inning over, bases empty, no runs.

»»» Lyle Overbay cleared outright release waivers and is a free agent.

»»» Righty Ross Ohlendorf will make what likely will be his final rehab start tonight for Triple-A Indianapolis — but it might not be his last start for Indy this year. There are no openings in the Pirates’ rotation; Indy lists TBA for its pitcher Sunday, which would be Ohlendorf’s next turn. Ohlendorf has minor league options left and could be send to Indy once he comes off the disabled list. If that happens, Ohlendorf would probably stay there until rosters are expanded on Sept. 1.

deadgiants»»» Tonight is Grateful Dead Night at AT&T Park. Members of the band and relatives of the late Jerry Garcia will sing the National Anthem and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

»»» Double-A Altoona infielder Greg Picart hit a solo homer last night, his first since early in the 2009 season, when he with Low-A West Virginia. It was a solo shot in the seventh inning that sparked the Curve to a 3-2 win. Picart, a righty hitter, went deep against Trenton’s Pat Vindette, a switch-pitcher. Picart, a 25th-round draft pick in 2003, owns 11 homers over eight seasons in the minors.

Lineups for today’s game:

Pirates (55-59) – 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Garrett Jones 1rf, 3. Neil Walker 2b, 4. Derrek Lee 1b, 5. Ryan Ludwick lf, 6. Ryan Doumit c, 7. Brandon Wood 3b, 8. Ronny Cedeno ss, 9. James McDonald rhp (7-5, 4.23)

Giants (63-53) – 1. Andres Torres cf, 2. Jeff Keppinger 2b, 3. Pablo Sandoval 3b, 4. Aubrey Huff 1b, 5. Nate Schierholtz rf, 6. Orlando Cabrera ss, 7. Cody Ross lf, 8. Chris Stewart c, 9. Madison Bumgarner lhp (6-11, 3.71)

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Comments

  1. Chuck H. says:

    Why is it that a pitcher like Bumgarner can dominate the Bucs like he did? His record says that he isn’t even a good pitcher. The Pirates seem to bog down against lefties for some reason. Even their right handed hitters cannot hit lefties. And all these strikeouts-we have to be leading the league in batter strikeouts. My observation of Pirate batters shows that they hardly ever swing at the first pitch, which is usually the best pitch that they are going to see the rest of the at-bat. Most pitchers will try to get ahead in the count, so that first pitch will usually be in the strike zone. That’s why they should be swinging at that first pitch. It might help.

  2. JoeBob says:

    Bumgarner is a fine pitcher, which one would know after watching last year’s post-season performance. He’s particularly effective against righties with that lethal slider.
    However, you’re correct that we have way too many swing-and-miss guys. This needs to be addressed. And you’re spot-on with your first-pitch observation. Don’t think opposing teams don’t know this.

 
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