Well remember how much I praised the pitching during the last home stand. How much I said the pitching was responsible for 7 win out of the last 9 games. Forget it. Just the opposite held true in the first game of the road trip at Miller Park last night.
Zach Duke got pounded. Giving up 7 runs and 11 hits in only 3 innings of work. he gave up 7 hits and 5 runs in the first alone. By far, his shortest outing of the season. I have been waiting all season for the 07-08 version of Duke to re-emerge, and it did last night. The 07-08 Duke in which the league batted over .300 against him. What went wrong for Duke? Horrible location on all of his pitches. The Brewers are a good hitting team, especially in their ball park and Duke made it easy for them early.
Still though, the young Bucs kept fighting back, but just didn't have enough in the tank. The losing streak at Miller Park extends to 19. The Bucs looked good early though. Runners on second and third with no outs in the first and somehow don't score. Of course the rally was killed by No-Mitt, bouncing weakly into a double play. A Prince Fielder monster shot moments later had the Bucs down 3-0, instead of possibly up 3-0.
Hard to blame Tony Beasley for not sending McCutchen on Young's first inning double, with no outs. Ryan Braun played the ball well, but I still feel Cutch scores easy. Kudos to Ken Macha for managing the game to win, even early. Walking Andy Laroche intentionally to get to Doumit proved to be the big play in the game. If Doumit comes through, the Bucs probably win the game. Just goes to show how big moments in a game aren't saved for the 8th and 9th innings all the time.
Even though Duke gives up 5 in the first, if he limits the damage in the second and third innings, after the Bucs score the previous inning, it may have been a different game.
- Doumit was pulled from the game. He isn't hurt and wasn't sick the Bucs say. One can only hope he was close to being dealt. However the likely scenario was that he was pulled because he flat out sucks.
-Great job by the Bucs bullpen. In particular, Bootcheck, Jackson, Hanrahan and Bautista. One hit allowed through 5 innings of work.
-Boy is Cutch something to watch or what. I'm starting to run out of things to say about him.
-Did you see Luis Cruz get hit in the head by a line drive in BP? Hard to believe he was in the lineup. He looked a step slow and had to have a headache. Would have been a good opportunity for JR to get Bixler a start. Bixler came through with a pinch hit double though.
-Thumbs down to FSN Pittsburgh. Why do they have to drop the Bucs game and show the meaningless Steelers preseason game? The Steelers game is already on KDKA. I see why the casual fan doesn't get interested in this team when the Steelers are shoved down peoples throats.
-September call ups will be coming soon. We know that Alvarez and Daniel McCutchen won't be coming. i expect Neil Walker, who is tearing the cover off the ball finally to get a look, but where? I don't want him taking many at bats away from Laroche. Clement will get a look as well. Erick Hacker will likely get a start or 2. Other than that, not too many youngsters will be up. I would like to see Brad Lincoln and Jose Tabata get a quick look. Some other arms will get the quick promotion as well. Nothing to get excited about though. probably a Virgil Vasquez type pitcher or 2.
-Here is where I want this rebuild to go. Did you see the Scott Kazmir deal to the Angels last night? The Rays unloaded Kazmir, who's velocity has been down & his 23 mil left on his deal, for 2 quality prospects and possibly a third. What do they do? They replace Kazmir with Wade Davis and aren't likely to miss a beat. The Rays keep loading up their system and keep filtering young studs through the major league club. That's where I want the Bucs to get to. Being able to deal a struggling star for a good return and have plenty of options to step in a do the job. Tampa is becoming a well oiled machine. Too bad they are in the AL East
- Gallardo (who we never hit) vs Hart tonight. Should be a great game since it's not on TV. Let's go Bucs