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The Penguins are knee-deep in the NHL Playoffs. The World Champion Steelers are preparing for this weekend's NFL draft. Traditionally, the Pirates are usually statistically eliminated by this point, and Adam LaRoche is hitting around .018 or so. They're already an afterthought. But this year? That's a different story. The Pirates are 7-6, they've thrown four shutouts (two more than their 2008 total), and they lead the league in team ERA. I hope they serve smelling salts at the All You Can Eat Counter, because we might need them to revive us after hearing statistical revelations like those.

Last night, the Battlin' Bucs, coming off a blowout loss to Atlanta on Sunday, locked horns with the one-loss Florida Marlins. Surely, this would be the second game in the Pirates' inevitable free-fall. But not so fast, my friend.

Ross "Mr. Wonderful" Ohlendorf (as you can see, I'm not giving up on that nickname) pitched seven innings, allowing two hits and striking out five, and the Pirates defeated the Marlins, 8-0, in front of a little more than 8,000 at PNC Park.

The Pirates, who have scored 51 runs in its seven wins this season but just nine runs in six losses, decided to bring their bats on this night, with Nate McLouth driving in four and becoming the 23rd player to have a home run reach the Allegheny River via a bounce. In fact, every position player for the Pirates had at least one hit against the Marlin combination of Andrew Miller and Logan Kensing.

The two teams face off again tonight opposite Pens-Flyers, and the first pitch will be thrown at 7:05 PM. RHP Jeff Karstens (0-0, 6.75) goes for the Pirates against Florida RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 1.64). Will the Pirates score 8, give up 11, score 2, or give up 0? This year, anything's possible.

Ohlendorf, Pirates cool off torrid Marlins, 8-0 [PG]

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the nigerian nightmare said...

I will back you on "Mr. Wonderful".....genius.

Anonymous said...

How cool was it that the game was also broadcast on ESPN because of a rainout of the game they intended to show? Baseball Tonight actually talked about the Pirates' pitching success at length last night. The Bucs normally don't even get highlights on Sports Center unless they're playing the Cubs or Cardinals...I only wish there were more than 178 people there to see Mr Wonderful mowing down Marlin batters.

tecmo said...

they lead the league in team ERAWe're actually second in team ERA right now behind the Mariners (3.01 vs 3.08). We were leading the league before the 11-0 killer the Braves dropped on us, but responding with a shutout is a nice way to tilt us back towards the top.

Anonymous said...

I think he was referring to the NL

AJ said...

I think the "Mr. Wonderful" moniker will probably stick once Ohlendorf's arm is in a cast from the inevitable forthcoming Tommy John surgery.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

one positive for sure is this:

Not knowing what to expect, 4 shutouts in 7 days or being thumped 11-1, is more fun than expecting to lose every night.

Let's see where this goes, it might not be long before they are back to their old ways. But they just might surprise us too, and I certainly welcome that surprise.

tecmo said...

FightingScot - It says "they lead the league in team ERA." There's no mention of the Senior Circuit.

Just wanted to clarify so someone doesn't believe false info. National League, yes. Entire league...almost there.

Go Buccos!

mondesishouse said...

Just to clarify, I meant NL.

Unknown said...

when it comes to baseball, the cream of the crop always rises - at the end of the season, the only race the pirates will be in is the race for the cellar of the division

Penn.DOT(DadOf2) said...

Hey, this is better than watching the Pirates lose 10 in a row. Atleast (for now) they are trying to win games.

If 8,000 people were there, alot of them came dressed as empty seats. I can believe the 178 people comment to be more of the truth.

I'll bet ESPN regretted to show that game in place of their washout game.

Let's keep hoping for the best when it comes to the Pirates!

tecmo said...


Cool, cool. I've been tracking team ERA MLB-wide this season for personal reasons, and didn't know if I was mistaken or not.

Thanks for the clarity!

Brian said...

"they've thrown four shutouts (two more than their 2008 total)"

I heard this stat on ESPN today also and then realized that the Pirate threw 7 SHO last year. I'm guessing ESPN doesn't know what they are talking about if it's not the Yanks or Sox statistics.

Steve said...

Doesn't matter who or what, ESPN never knows what they're talking about.

Unknown said...

...and the Pirates defeated the Marlins, 8-0, in front of a little more than 8,000 at PNC Park.8,000 what? blades of grass? empty seats? Actually it was more like 34,000 empty seats.

What a crowd presence to be nationally televised.

D_Hague11 said...

Pointing out a correction
According to ( The Pirates had 7 SO last year so they still need 3 more.

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

Holy crap Tecmo, who the heck cares. Who urinated in your Wheaties this morning?

tecmo said...

Your mom.

Dude, I pointed something out, got clarity and its done. Not sure why its such a big deal to you. But you have all the answers, right?

Get a life.

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

"Get a life"

Says the guy who fact checks blog posts.

tecmo said...

No. I've been tracking the Buccos' team ERA for a potential blog post of my own. Keep it up with the accusations're almost there.

I'm glad my inquiry pissed you off enough to write a response and not really say anything insightful. You just have to hear yourself talk? Verbal masterbation, and it's annoying.