I didn’t get to see or hear much Pirate baseball this weekend because I was in State College, PA for the Blue/White game, Penn State Football’s annual spring scrimmage. The weekend is really more about tailgating and enjoying the outdoors, but a reminder that college football season is on its way isn’t a bad thing either.

The Pirates were in San Diego for a 3 game series this weekend. Despite a mess of injuries, the Bucs found a way to win 2 out of 3 games and claim their third consecutive series win. Nate McLouth didn’t play at all this weekend due to an injured right oblique. It doesn’t sound like this injury will require a trip to the DL, but the team decided to keep McLouth out for precautionary reasons. Jack Wilson was sent to the DL because of the injured left middle finger that has been bothering him over the past week. Brian Bixler was called up to replace Wilson, and Bixler will likely split time at shortstop with Ramon Vazquez. Finally, Craig Hansen was sent to the DL because of neck spasms. Evan Meek was called up to replace Hansen.

Game 16 – The series opened with a tough loss for the Bucs. Pittsburgh used every pitcher that they had available before losing 4-3 in 11 innings. Ian Snell only lasted 5 and 1/2 innings. The relievers pitched 5 scoreless innings until Matt Capps walked 2 in the 11th and former Pirate, Brian Giles hit a game winning double.

Game 17 – Zach Duke looked strong once again to claim his 3rd win of the season. The Bucs dominated the Padres from start to finish in this game and took home the 10-1 victory. Duke pitched 8 and 1/3 inning, giving up 6 hits and 1 ER. He got plenty of support from his own batters with Freddy Sanchez going 3-5, Craig Monroe going 3-5, Eric Hinske going 2-3, Andy LaRoche going 2-4, and Jason Jaramillo going 2-4.

Game 18 – Ross Ohlendorf out-pitched Jake Peavy, and Adam LaRoche hit 2 home runs to lead the Bucs to an 8-3 win over the Padres. Ohlendorf pitched 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 3 ER. John Grabow finished up the final two innings. Andy LaRoche went 2-5 to extend his consecutive game hitting streak to 10. So much for that slow start!

The Pirates are now 11-7, and they have already seen strong pitching performances from all of their starters. It sure looks like Pitching Coach, Joe Kerrigan is doing a lot of the right things.

With this series win, the Pirates are now 4 games over .500. That hasn’t happened since 2002. Also, the Pirates are now assured of a winning record in the month of April. That’s happened just twice in the last 15 years.

One final note from the weekend. Dave Davidson was claimed off waivers by the Florida Marlins. Only time will tell if this means anything.


A 3 game series with the Milwaukee Brewers is next. Let’s hope that our injury depleted Pittsburgh Pirates can find a way to keep the wins coming.

Monday – Jeff Karstens @ Braden Looper – 8:05 P.M.
Tuesday – Paul Maholm @ Dave Bush – 8:05 P.M.
Wednesday – Ian Snell @ – Yovani Gallardo 1:05 P.M.