I expected the worst from this one after the Pirates didn't put a run on the board in either of the first two innings, but then Jack Wilson hit a two-run homer in the third. And even after the Bucs blew the game open with four runs in the seventh, I thought Joel Hanrahan or John Grabow might blow it after they each put on a bunch of baserunners. Ultimately, though, none of that happened. And there was also some less anxiety-inducing stuff here, two, like Garrett Jones' two stolen bases (which you can chalk up to getting good jumps), a spectacular play by Wilson deep in the hole, and a gap double by Andrew McCutchen.
A few notes:
Vazquez has too much value for Braves to move - FOX Sports on MSN
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates are interested in Rockies 2B Eric Young, Jr. as a possible replacement for Freddy Sanchez, should Sanchez be traded. The Rockies aren't really in contention for the NL West race, but they are in the Wild Card picture, so they could conceivably be buying at the deadline. Young shouldn't be any more than a throw-in in any trade, though. He's already 24, and his nifty minor league OBPs and steal totals are offset by a lack of projectible power. Also, his current home park in Colorado Springs is great for hitters. He'd be a pretty fringy starting second baseman. Of course, all this would appear to be moot if the Pirates don't deal Sanchez.
Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
Kevin Goldstein (subscription required) calls Rudy Owens "a very real prospect" and says he's ready for a promotion.
White Sox acquire reliever Tony Pena from Arizona | Hardball
The Diamondbacks have traded Tony Pena to the White Sox for minor league first baseman Brandon Allen. The Diamondbacks, who are 19 games out of first, are admitting here that their season is done. I actually thought they might be the one team that had the talent to compete with the Dodgers in the West, but the loss of Brandon Webb and the messes made by hitters like Eric Byrnes, Chris Young and Chad Tracy have done them in, even as Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds, Dan Haren, Doug Davis and Max Scherzer have all performed very well. Anyway, Allen is a hulk of a man and a reasonably well-rounded power hitter in the midst of a somewhat tough year; he'll probably recover his stroke in the extremely friendly hitting environment at Reno, where the D'Backs have their AAA affiliate. I love Pena's stuff, and he'll fit nicely into what was already a pretty good White Sox bullpen as they try to chase down the Tigers. Nice trade for both teams.