Lastings Milledge came through with the walk-off single and he deserves a ton of credit, but a ton of credit also needs to go to Andrew McCutchen. After his two-out single to left, Cutch's steal of second turned out to be the big play of the game.
Now several people have stolen 50 or 60 bases, but it takes a special type of player to steal that bag, in that situation, when everyone in the ballpark and everyone in both dugouts know you are running. Not only that, he stole it easy.
After the steal, Milledge came through with a very good at bat. He's probably the only Bucco I would want up in that situation. He proceeded to spoil four, two-strike pitches, before working the count full and then delivering the walk-off single up the middle for the Bucco win.
Zach Duke gave the team another tremendous start, I have since backed off my criticism of him. He looks great and the ball just seems to be coming out of his hand much better. That's the big thing I noticed last night. His delivery and arm slot is real consistent right now.
If Duke keeps it up, he very well could become the ace the Pirates desperately need. His trade value is increasing by the start. Usually, this would excite me, but with a team lacking effective starting pitching and a team with the lowest payroll in the majors; could this be a time to lock Duke up long term?
The bullpen was horrific last night, unable to find the strike zone. Joel Hanrahan looked good, with his fastball in the 95-98 mph range, but even he walked a batter. Javy Lopez- 2 walks without throwing a strike and Brenden Donally also walked in a run. Although, Angel Hernandez didn't do these guys any favors. He's the worst ump in the league, with the most inconsistent strike zone.
Octavio Dotel blew his first save after giving up a leadoff triple on a fastball right down the middle, but give him some credit to get out with the game tied 3-3.
Now with the team at 5-5, coming off a big win at home; it's time they build off that and string together a few in a row.
-Ross Ohlendoff was placed on the 15 day DL, retroactive to April 12th. He will come off on April 27th. Daniel McCutchen was called back up to take Ohlendorf's spot tonight. I think he will fare better than he did in his first start in Arizona.
-Andy Laroche is not in tonight's lineup as he left last nigh'ts game in the second inning with back spasms. He was replaced by Bobby Crosby last night. Delwyn Young gets the start at third tonight.
-Pedro Alvarez hit his fourth homer of the season last night for Indy (made two errors though). Jose Tabata has an eight-game hit streak and is hitting .351. For all you Ryan Doumit haters, Tony Sanchez is hitting over .370 at Bradenton. I will start doing my minor league reports again sometime this week.
-Pirates are ranked 17th in hitting with a .249 team avg. They have averaged 4.3 runs per game and their team OPS is .716
- They rank 30th in pitching with a team ERA of 6.93. Opponents are hitting .302 off them. That's a little misleading though. If you take the poor outings of Hyden Penn, Charlie Morton, Brian Burres and McCutchen away, they have a team ERA of 4.01. Not too bad of a job. Now the other guys have to start pitching better.
-Penn cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Indy.
-I sit next to all the scouts at the games and lucky me, there was Dave Littlefield, scouting for the Cubs. For his sake I hope he's better at that job than his last.
- I should have something up for tomorrow as well. Until then, LET"S GO BUCS. You can listen to my Lexycast of tonight's game, which should be up 15-20 minutes after the last pitch.