Friday, August 17, 2007

Pirates avoid sweep

Adam LaRoche gives the Pirates the lead - AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The Pirates avoided a sweep at the hands of the Mets with a 10-7 victory last night. The team came from behind to win after Tony Armas handed New York a 5-0 lead by the third inning. The Bucs did not register a hit until the fourth, but that hit was an Adam LaRoche blast over the seats in right field. Ronny Paulino followed the two-run shot with an RBI double later in the inning, and the Pirates pulled within two. However, the Mets extended their lead to 7-3 the next inning.

From there, the Bucs began chipping away. A Jason Bay RBI single in the fifth, a Nate McLouth RBI double in the sixth, RBI singles from Bay and Jose Castillo in the seventh and the game was tied at seven. In the eighth, a David Wright throwing error allowed Freddy Sanchez to reach with two outs and the Pirates took advantage. LaRoche, Bay and Jose Bautista hit consecutive run-scoring singles, and Matt Capps retired the side in the ninth to preserve the victory.
  • Bay and LaRoche both hit well in the same game. We have not seen enough of that in 2007.
  • After the game, the Pirates promoted Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Dave Davidson to Triple-A Indianapolis. This is a curious move, as none of these three have been exactly dominant in Altoona. Walker started the season very strongly, but has cooled considerably in the second half. Overall, he is hitting a solid .288/.362/.462. McCutchen's season has been the exact opposite. He began 2007 in a LaRoche-esque slump, but has caught fire recently. Still his overall numbers are a disappointing .258/.327/.383. Davidson has posted a 4.22 ERA in 59.2 innings, with a decent K/BB ratio of 55/30 and a 1.24 WHIP. This was not a bad move by any means, it was just a bit unexpected.
  • Dejan reports that Jack Wilson has cleared waivers, meaning he can be traded up until August 31. Jair Jurrjens, who reportedly was discussed in the original trade talks with the Tigers in July, is now on Detroit's 40-man roster. The significance of this is that he would need to clear waivers to be traded, an event Dejan sees as unlikely. I do not have a thorough understanding of baseball's waiver rules, but I believe the waiver priority is determined by the current standings. The Pirates currently have the second worst record in Major League Baseball, ahead of only Tampa Bay. I believe that means that if the Devil Rays do not claim Jurrjens, the Pirates can. This would allow the trade to go through, similar to the situation with Brian Giles in 2003.

EDIT: Forget all this. The waiver priority is determined by league, meaning that each AL club would have a chance to claim Jurrjens before the Pirates.)

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