SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 12: Brain Burres #71 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on April 12, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brian Burres, making his first start for the Pirates, did not bring his moustache of sadness, but the results he got were pretty much par for the course for a last-minute Class AAA sub--he struck out two, walked two and allowed six runs in four innings. I missed the first few innings, but the Post-Gazette does a good job describing a rather weird defensive shift the Pirates used with the lefty Burres on the mound and the reasons why it didn't work--there were a number of balls hit to left field, but Lastings Milledge was shaded too far to right to play them effectively.
In one sense, Burres' start was actually kind of a success in that he got through four innings, but that's only given that the Pirates didn't have a lot of notice that they'd need an extra starting pitcher. (Jeff Karstens, ironically, pitched four scoreless innings at Indianapolis tonight, but the P-G reports that the Pirates were concerned about him not being stretched out enough.) If Ross Ohlendorf can't go next time, they'll be better prepared with Brad Lincoln or someone else. The Pirates got in an early hole that was hard to crawl out of--they put together the beginnings of a nice rally in the seventh, but Sergio Romo's nasty slider took care of it. Joel Hanrahan made his season debut in the bottom of the inning and was visibly very hard for Giants batters to hit, but he struggled with his control. Brandon Donnelly allowed a two-run homer by Bengie Molina in the eighth. There wasn't much of a chance of the Pirates winning this game, but in happier news, they get 150 more chances to try again, and Hanrahan is back, and at least they're not Houston.
Other than at Indianapolis, where journeyman Jeremy Powell struggled irrelevantly, it was a good night for Pirates minor league pitchers. Justin Wilson was excellent in his first Class AA start, striking out four batters while allowing one run and one walk over five innings. Nathan Adcock was similarly terrific in his first start for Bradenton, striking out seven in five shutout innings. And Phillip Irwin pitched four shutout innings for West Virginia in their 6-5 win.