Jonathan Sanchez, Giants 3-hit Pirates

The most frustrating thing about today's game was that Charlie Morton allowed three homers. That Aubrey Huff's jack was an inside-the-park homer was a freak occurrence, a product of the weird architecture around San Francisco's right field wall (I've certainly never seen a second baseman field a ball by the warning track before), but the fact that it was a homer was not--the ball was very well hit and would have been out of most parks. Morton was very frustrating, painting the corners on occasion with nasty stuff and keeping walks off the scoreboard, but often throwing both fastballs and breaking balls right down broadway, where even a non-hitter like Eli Whiteside can crush them. Offensively, the Pirates could do little with Jonathan Sanchez, who racked up eleven strikeouts over eight innings. The Bucs had just three hits, and one was an infield hit by Lastings Milledge, who managed to reach first by hitting a ball that bounced off Sanchez's rear end.

Incidentally--and there was a big discussion about this in the gamethread--why was Bobby Crosby starting at first base today? This is the third game the Pirates have sat Jeff Clement so far in this young season. I get that he should occasionally have a day off, especially against a tough lefty, but he doesn't need three days off so early in the year. The entire point of having him on the big-league roster right now is that there's hopefully a limited amount of time before Pedro Alvarez arrives and crowds the infield.

And playing Crosby at first is just a waste of time. Not that it was primarily Crosby's fault the Pirates only had three hits today, but as today's performance suggests, they need hitting ability wherever they can find it, and effectively punting first base in any given game is no way to do that. If Clement needs to sit, then moving Garrett Jones to first and playing Delwyn Young in right would probably be fine. John Raynor would also be fine. The Pirates could also clear a bench spot for Steve Pearce. Playing Crosby at first, though, does not make sense--he has a career .698 OPS against lefties.

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