Big Lead Sports Bar

4/06/2009

UNDEFEATED

That's right, Bucco fans. You're in first place. It's OK to gloat - no one's going to begrudge you.

It wasn't the prettiest all-around win, but it was an exciting first day for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who got a two-out, two-strike, bases-loaded double from Jack Wilson to save the day, pushing the Bucs over the top in a 6-4 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. To see the dejected reaction of Cardinals manager/supervillain Tony LaRussa after Wilson's hit would've been well worth the price of admission and a plane ticket to St. Louis, but luckily TV captured it quite well.

Wilson's double off a 96-MPH fastball on an 0-2 pitch from new Cards closer Jason Motte contributed to a four-run ninth inning, and Matt Capps closed the door in the bottom half of the frame to lock up the Pirates' first win of 2009. Raise the Jolly Roger, Greg Brown.

Paul Maholm, just as SI predicted, had a decent outing, giving up just one run while working into the seventh inning. The Pirates also got a big game from the top of the lineup, as Nyjer Morgan had three hits in the leadoff spot and Freddy Sanchez two hits in the second spot. Even notorious slow-starter Adam LaRoche had two hits in the opener, which is usually his quota for the entire month of April.

There were a few ugly moments, particularly a hacky Andy LaRoche strikeout, to be added to his two fielding errors. And Ryan Doumit left five on base while going 0-for-5. But a comeback win on a cold day in front of a hostile crowd at 104% capacity is a welcome sight at any time of the year.

The Cardinals, who used Donora's Stan Musial alongside Red Schoendist to throw out the first pitch, fielded quite the interesting lineup. SS Khalil Greene was the head-scratching choice at cleanup, but this comes from the same manager who sometimes bats the pitcher eighth. LaRussa doesn't have much time to ponder any changes, because the two teams meet again on Tuesday. Ian Snell (7-12, 5.42 in 2008) meets up with Kyle Lohse (15-6, 3.78). Gametime is scheduled for 8:15.

Wilson, Pirates rally with 4-run 9th vs. Cards new closer Motte [ESPN]

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5 comments:

Bill said...

What a glorious moment. I only wish Lloyd McClendon was there to rub it in LaRussa's face. How did those two become arch-enemies in the first place? I don't think I'll ever understand it.

Clutch hitting from the unlikeliest places. Paul Maholm is unstoppable at the plate. I always love this one day where i get to be excited about baseball again. Maybe they'll give us two or three this year.

Art Vandalay said...

Rrrrraise the jolly roger!

Steve said...

My minuses and goesintas aren't that great anymore but that's a winning record! Is it too early to call it a season and get ready for football?

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Didn't the Legendary Lloyd/Larussa rivalry stem from a fight between Gerald Perry and Dave Duncan?

A gritty win to start the season and 2 hits and an RBI for Ad. Laroche before June 1st??????

Buc Fever!

JW said...

In the immortal words of Lloyd himself,

"Why, why, that's your favorite f%$#& question, why."