After the Pirates were shut out by Jeff Weaver, what did you expect them to do against one of the better young arms in the Majors? Felix Hernandez has struggled a bit recently, but last night he found the perfect remedy in the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hernandez pitched eight shutout innings in defeating the Bucs 3-0, as the Pirates' scoreless streak was extended to 20 innings. John Van Benschoten was solid for the second straight outing, but his three runs allowed in five innings were too much for the Bucs' offense to overcome. The bullpen was unusually stable, throwing three scoreless innings after Van Benschoten's departure. Masumi Kuwata led the charge, striking out four Mariners in two innings. Jonah Bayliss also pitched a scoreless inning.
After the game, the Pirates designated Dan Kolb for assignment and recalled Brad Eldred from Indianapolis. Apparently, since Eldred's consistent at-bats at Triple-A were not helping (.212 average), the Pirates figured they should let him sit on the Bucco bench for extended stretches again.
Tonight the Pirates are in Los Angeles to face the Mighty Angels of Anaheim. Jered Weaver, possibly worried that he could not match his brother's performance against the Pirates, will miss his scheduled start. Joe Saunders was recalled from Triple-A to take his place. Being a Pirate fan, pitchers just called up from Triple-A scare me to death. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05.