Friday, June 15, 2007

Loe shuts down Pirate bats

Tom Gorzelanny plays catcher - AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

As I previously stated, the Pirates held a huge advantage in the pitching matchup last night at PNC Park. Tom Gorzelanny (2.76 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) went against Kameron Loe (7.40 ERA, 1.68 WHIP), with Loe fresh off a demotion to Triple-A. Well, you never know with the Pirates. After battering Texas hurlers in the first two games of the series, the Bucs' bats suddenly went quiet against a guy who had allowed nine runs in 2.2 innings in his previous Major League start on June 7. The Rangers won, 6-0.

To be fair, Loe looked very sharp in this game. He hit his spots and kept the Pirates off balance all night. His sinker must have been dropping dramatically, as Pirate hitters continuously pounded the ball into the ground. You have to tip your cap to him.

Tom Gorzelanny did not pitch as poorly as his final line shows. He was solid through six innings, allowing only two solid home runs. Gorzo clearly did not have his best stuff in this game, as he missed his spots repeatedly. His breaking ball seemed especially inefficient, staying up and away to right-handed batters several times. But he battled through the difficulties and kept the game close for six innings. Not that it mattered. With the way the Pirates were hitting, the game was over as soon as Jerry Hairston homered in the first. The Pirates have now scored a grand total of two runs in Gorzelanny's four losses. That's pretty deflating for a young pitcher.

Jose Castillo again started at short, and went 0 for 2 with a walk. In addition, he looked a bit shaky in the field on a few occasions. He did not really make any mistakes, but looked like a guy that is playing out of position. If I were a betting man, I would guess that we will see Jack Wilson start at shortstop at some point this weekend.

Dan Kolb is not the answer for the bullpen. While the box score tells me that he threw 12 of his 23 pitches for strikes, it seemed like he only got about four pitches anywhere near the plate. I would not want him on the mound in an important situation. Of course, it was only one inning, and I am usually wrong about most things.

By the way, wouldn't you agree that the best way to end a game in which you have been shut out is with two slow rollers and a pop-up? By the middle of your order. Nothing like going down without a fight.

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