The Pirates swept the Astros for the second time this season, finishing it off with a 5-3 victory this afternoon at PNC Park. Tony Armas struggled his way to a solid 5 inning, 1 run allowed outing. The offense was produced by two-run singles by Jason Bay and Ryan Doumit, and the Bucs added another when Xavier Nady was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Salomon Torres again was shaky in the 9th, but John Grabow was able to finish off the victory. The Pirates are currently 10-10. My observations from the ballpark:
- Adam LaRoche is almost there. He was 1 for 4 with two strikeouts today, but I am confident that he will start hitting soon. His 8th inning foul ball quite possibly traveled 600 feet.
- I thought I was watching a movie during that 8th inning. First the Pirates ignored the wisdom of Billy Heywood, who showed off his knowledge in the 1994 flick Little Big League. In one scene, he clearly explained that a number 3 hitter should not sacrifice with runners on first and second and nobody out. The clean-up hitter will be intentionally walked, meaning we just wasted our two best bats. We were lucky that Xavier Nady received the Roger Dorn treatment, as he leaned into a pitch and immediately was replaced by a pinch runner (thanks to Scott for pointing this out to me during the game).
- If there are two things in this world that I absolutely can not stand, it is the KISS morning show and the pierogi race. Put them together, and you have an inning break from hell.
- I was surprised to see Ryan Doumit walking out to the bullpen before this game. He kept up his hot streak with a couple of hits and two RBI's. Keep your eye on Doumit.
- Jonah Bayliss did a great job escaping from the 6th inning. He entered with the bases loaded and nobody out, and shut the door with a pop-up and a double play. This kept the Pirates within one run, and allowed them to take the lead in the bottom of the inning. Bayliss got out of another jam with a double play in the 7th inning. That's great experience for the young kid.
- About 25 minutes before the game, Lance Berkman jogged from the dugout into shallow right field. About ten feet behind him was the Pirate Parrot. The Parrot was skipping with his hands held high in an effeminate manner. That is the best visual description I can provide. You must trust me that this was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
- EDIT (04/27/2007, 1:45 PM): One last thing: I saw somebody wearing an autographed Shawn Chacon Pirate jersey. They actually make those?