Mike Hampton (LHP) (2-4, 5.63 ERA, 33 K) @ Paul Maholm (LHP) (3-1, 4.11 ERA, 34 K)

1:35 P.M. EST @ PNC Park

Rubber match this afternoon.

Post Game Update:

Grrr… there’s not much more frustrating than a 2-1 loss…. especially when that loss comes at the hands of Mike Hampton (2-4, 5.63 ERA). Pirate batters went back into their shell, as they got just 4 hits tonight.

Nate McLouth led of the game with a solo home run, and that was the last time the Pirates would touch home plate.

Paul Maholm pitched well, but it’s tough to pitch well enough to win when your offense provides just 1 run.

Prior to today’s game, Donald Veal was sent to the DL with a strained right groin. Steven Jackson (newly acquired from the New York Yankees) will be recalled from AAA. Word is that Veal being placed on the DL could just be a convenient way for the Pirates to hold onto Veal without keeping him an active member of the bullpen. Since Veal was a Rule 5 pickup from the Chicago Cubs, Veal must be kept on the Pirates’ Major League roster.

veal

Live Updates:

Inning 1

Away
Edwin Maysonet strikes out swinging.
Miguel Tejada doubles (20) on a ground ball to right fielder Brandon Moss.
Hunter Pence strikes out swinging.
With Carlos Lee batting, wild pitch by Paul Maholm, Miguel Tejada to 3rd.
Carlos Lee flies out to left fielder Craig Monroe.

Home
Nate McLouth homers (9) on a fly ball to right field.
Andy LaRoche grounds out, shortstop Miguel Tejada to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Freddy Sanchez walks.
Craig Monroe grounds into a double play, third baseman Jeff Keppinger to second baseman Edwin Maysonet to first baseman Lance Berkman. Freddy Sanchez out at 2nd.

Inning 2

Away
Lance Berkman walks.
Jason Michaels flies out to center fielder Nate McLouth. Lance Berkman to 2nd.
Jeff Keppinger grounds out, shortstop Jack Wilson to first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Humberto Quintero singles on a ground ball to center fielder Nate McLouth. Lance Berkman scores. Humberto Quintero to 2nd on the throw.
Mike Hampton called out on strikes.

Home
Adam LaRoche grounds out, shortstop Miguel Tejada to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Robinzon Diaz grounds out, third baseman Jeff Keppinger to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Brandon Moss strikes out swinging.

Inning 3

Away
Edwin Maysonet grounds out, shortstop Jack Wilson to first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Miguel Tejada reaches on a fielding error by third baseman Andy LaRoche.
Hunter Pence singles on a ground ball to right fielder Brandon Moss. Miguel Tejada to 2nd.
Carlos Lee grounds out to first baseman Adam LaRoche. Miguel Tejada to 3rd. Hunter Pence to 2nd.
Lance Berkman strikes out swinging.

Home
Jack Wilson grounds out, third baseman Jeff Keppinger to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Paul Maholm grounds out, second baseman Edwin Maysonet to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Nate McLouth singles on a line drive to right fielder Hunter Pence.
Andy LaRoche grounds out, pitcher Mike Hampton to first baseman Lance Berkman.

Inning 4

Away
Jason Michaels flies out to right fielder Brandon Moss.
Jeff Keppinger flies out to left fielder Craig Monroe.
Humberto Quintero singles on a ground ball to right fielder Brandon Moss.
Mike Hampton flies out to right fielder Brandon Moss.

Home
Freddy Sanchez grounds out, shortstop Miguel Tejada to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Craig Monroe grounds out, shortstop Miguel Tejada to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Adam LaRoche singles on a ground ball to shortstop Miguel Tejada, deflected by pitcher Mike Hampton.
Robinzon Diaz grounds out, second baseman Edwin Maysonet to first baseman Lance Berkman.

Inning 5

Away
Edwin Maysonet singles on a ground ball to center fielder Nate McLouth.
Miguel Tejada grounds into a double play, shortstop Jack Wilson to second baseman Freddy Sanchez to first baseman Adam LaRoche. Edwin Maysonet out at 2nd.
Hunter Pence grounds out, shortstop Jack Wilson to first baseman Adam LaRoche.

Home
Brandon Moss grounds out, second baseman Edwin Maysonet to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Jack Wilson flies out to center fielder Jason Michaels.
Paul Maholm strikes out swinging.

Inning 6

Away
Carlos Lee walks.
Lance Berkman pops out to first baseman Adam LaRoche in foul territory.
Jason Michaels flies out to right fielder Brandon Moss.
Jeff Keppinger grounds into a force out, third baseman Andy LaRoche to second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Carlos Lee out at 2nd.

Home
Nate McLouth grounds out, second baseman Edwin Maysonet to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Andy LaRoche grounds out, second baseman Edwin Maysonet to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Freddy Sanchez grounds out, shortstop Miguel Tejada to first baseman Lance Berkman.

Inning 7

Away
Humberto Quintero flies out to right fielder Brandon Moss.
Mike Hampton singles on a soft line drive to right fielder Brandon Moss.
Edwin Maysonet singles on a ground ball to right fielder Brandon Moss. Mike Hampton to 2nd.
With Miguel Tejada batting, passed ball by Robinzon Diaz, Mike Hampton to 3rd. Edwin Maysonet to 2nd.
Miguel Tejada singles on a soft line drive to second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Mike Hampton scores. Edwin Maysonet to 3rd.
Hunter Pence grounds into a double play, shortstop Jack Wilson to second baseman Freddy Sanchez to first baseman Adam LaRoche. Miguel Tejada out at 2nd.

Home
Craig Monroe grounds out to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Adam LaRoche strikes out swinging.
Robinzon Diaz bunt grounds out, pitcher Mike Hampton to first baseman Lance Berkman.

Inning 8

Away
Pitching Change: Jesse Chavez replaces Paul Maholm, batting 9th.
Carlos Lee grounds out, third baseman Andy LaRoche to first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Lance Berkman lines out to center fielder Nate McLouth.
Jason Michaels flies out to right fielder Brandon Moss.

Home
Pitching Change: Chris Sampson replaces Mike Hampton, batting 4th, replacing left fielder Carlos Lee.
Defensive switch from center field to left field for Jason Michaels.
Defensive Substitution: Michael Bourn replaces pitcher Mike Hampton, batting 9th, playing center field.
Brandon Moss strikes out swinging.
Jack Wilson grounds out, third baseman Jeff Keppinger to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske replaces Jesse Chavez.
Eric Hinske grounds out to first baseman Lance Berkman.

Inning 9

Away
Pitching Change: Evan Meek replaces Jesse Chavez, batting 9th, replacing Eric Hinske.
Jeff Keppinger grounds out to first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Humberto Quintero flies out to left fielder Craig Monroe.
Pitching Change: Sean Burnett replaces Evan Meek, batting 9th.
Michael Bourn called out on strikes.

Home
Pitching Change: LaTroy Hawkins replaces Chris Sampson, batting 4th.
Nate McLouth grounds out to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Andy LaRoche strikes out swinging, catcher Humberto Quintero to first baseman Lance Berkman.
Freddy Sanchez singles on a ground ball to left fielder Jason Michaels.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch-runner Nyjer Morgan replaces Freddy Sanchez.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch-hitter Delwyn Young replaces Craig Monroe.
Delwyn Young strikes out swinging.

I must admit that baseball will not be my top priority tonight. The Philadelphia Flyers travel to the Burgh for Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Still, I’ll keep an eye on the game, and here are some quick notes for tonight:
– We got Delwyn Young for two players to be named later. Apparently, he’ll be in Pittsburgh later this week. Time will tell where he fits in, and who gets bumped to make room for him.
– Andy LaRoche is back in the starting lineup tonight. He WILL get a hit.
– It’s Jackie Robinson day. Pay tribute to #42.

42

10:23 Update – Well, not much to say about the baseball game (other than everybody wore #42… which made the game very confusing). The Pens, however, got off to a great start, defeating the Flyers 4-1.

The Astros got four runs in a hurry. Mike Hampton threw 6 shutout innings, and that was about enough. Adam LaRoche hit a solo shot in the 9th. Andy LaRoche didn’t get his hit. He was replaced in the top of the 6th.

The most ironic event of the evening for me was that I decided to post my Retrosheet Scorecard this evening, despite my knowledge that at least one game situation doesn’t work well (a pinch hitter is at bat when the third out of an inning is a caught stealing. Sure enough, it happened tonight.

Today’s home opener proved to be a great day at PNC Park. There were plenty of pregame festivities as Nate McLouth was presented with his Gold Glove Award and Steve Blass was recognized for being a part of the Pirates for 50 seasons, and the Pirates wore special caps to honor and remember the Pittsburgh police officers who were killed last week.

For his second straight start this season, Zach Duke was effective on the mound. Today, he threw a complete game shutout and the Pirates beat the Houston Astros 7-0. The Astros appear to be a very bad team. They’re 1-6, and they’ve scored just 16 runs. Even the 0-7 Nationals have put 34 on the scoreboard. This would be a nice time to record a three game sweep.

Every Pirate in the batting order recorded a hit today. Ramon Vazquez started at 3rd base again, in place of Andy LaRoche. I think this series against the Astros would be an appropriate time to get LaRoche back into the lineup and hopefully get into a solid rhythm. Freddy Sanchez had a great game today, going 3-5 with three doubles. Adam LaRoche and Ryan Doumit added homers.

The Bucs get the day off tomorrow before a 7:05 P.M. game on Wednesday. Mike Hampton @ Ross Ohlendorf.

duke_police_hat