The Pirates collectively decided not to continue playing like they wanted to get their manager fired, pulling out a dramatic 7-3 win in Milwaukee last night (as if the Pirates could win any other way).
The unlikely turn of events came in the ninth inning, when aging closer Trevor Hoffman surrendered a tying solo shot to Ronny Cedeno and a grand slam to Ryan Doumit that sent the Brewer faithful scurrying for the exits as if the stadium was on fire. It was the first win for the Pirates in Milwaukee in their last 23 games, dating back to May 3, 2007.
Even more unlikely was the Pirates getting a quality start from newly-recalled Jeff Karstens, who was sporting a 7.31 ERA at Indianapolis. But Karstens held the Brewhas to two runs and six hits over six and 2/3, and the bullpen let only one more in the rest of the way. Combine that with the red-hot bat of Andy LaRoche (seriously, the guy's hitting .400), some power via Doumit, Cedeno, and Jeff Clement, and voila! The Pirates proved they can win a game after all. Whether or not we can count on a grand slam off the all-time leader in saves in the ninth inning on a regular basis is a question for another day. Let's just enjoy this for what it is, the baseball equivalent of a downpour in the middle of a drought.
The 8-12 Bucs and 9-11 Brewers meet today at 1:10 in a getaway game, with Paul Maholm facing off against something called a Chris Narveson. After that, the Pirates head to Los Angeles, where the Dodgers are surely plotting revenge for that season-opening series at PNC Park.
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