Pirates Win on Walk-Off Single by Ronny Cedeno

This was an amazingly long 4-3 game, but yet another fun one. When you're up three runs after three batters against Clayton Kershaw, you know things are going well. Akinori Iwamura started the game with a walk, and then Andrew McCutchen singled, and then came Garrett Jones, who continued his amazing run with a three-run homer that landed a couple rows into the stands in right-center.

 

Jones also looked great getting from first to third after a hit by Lastings Milledge in the bottom of the third. I'll give Jones some credit--he's a lot better rounded than his minor league numbers made him look. He can run. As MarkinDallas pointed out earlier today, Neal Huntington recently said that because Jones was so athletic, he may not be much of a downgrade on Brandon Moss defensively. I don't buy that--Jones frequently looks awkward on defense, particularly on plays at the wall--but I can at least see what Huntington is saying.

Things came apart for Ross Ohlendorf in the fifth, as he allowed a leadoff homer to Russell Martin and then, after an error by Andy LaRoche, RBI hits by Kemp and Andre Ethier. He finished the inning with the game tied. Overall, neither Kershaw nor Ohlendorf had their best stuff. Ohlendorf's velocity was fine, particularly at the start of the game (when his fastball was hitting 93), but his command was shaky, and he allowed three walks against only one strikeout.

While Kershaw simply didn't have his best control tonight either, it looks like the Pirates are going to be on base a bunch this year, at least relatively speaking--the more patient style of Iwamura, LaRoche, Jeff Clement and Andrew McCutchen is a really nice change from past Pirates teams. After the first inning, though, the Pirates were unable to capitalize on all the baserunners, and both teams (the Pirates ended up walking a bunch of batters as well) had a bunch of innings where a couple runners would get on, and then nothing would happen.

They ended up taking a 3-3 score all the way to the tenth inning, when Ramon Ortiz came on for the Dodgers. Milledge reached base on an error by Blake DeWitt, and then Ortiz struggled to find the zone, as LaRoche and Ryan Church both walked. With one out, Ronny Cedeno came to the plate with the bases loaded. He was the last guy I wanted to see there, particularly after his double play yesterday, but he managed a single to center to score Milledge, and the Pirates won in dramatic fashion.

Sidenote: LaRoche has walked four times so far this year. If we're going to do the pitcher-batting-eighth thing, which I endorse, wouldn't it be a good idea to move LaRoche to the ninth spot, where he can get on base in front of Iwamura, McCutchen and Jones?

This was hardly the convincing win that Monday's was, but I liked that the Pirates managed to get 18 runners on base, and at least the bullpen, though shaky, managed to come through in the end. 
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