Not the best night for the Pirates, who nearly were no-hit by Yusmeiro Petit. I only caught the last few innings, when Petit was obviously tired and it was hard to tell how even the Pirates failed to get a hit. Petit only struck out four for the game, while walking three, so you can probably chalk up his near-no-hitter more as offensive incompetence by the Pirates than as amazing pitching on his part.
A couple of observations:
-I hated Luis Rivas' gray sneakers, but I love Lastings Milledge's yellow laces.
-When did Mark Reynolds turn into the new Ryan Howard? Reynolds didn't do anything crazy tonight, but he looked great, driving his foul balls about a million miles. If you make any sort of mistake to him, watch out.
And some links:
MLB - Chicago Cubs/Cincinnati Reds Box Score Tuesday August 4, 2009
Tom Gorzelanny was not just good but excellent in his debut with the Cubs, striking out six, walking one and allowing just three hits in 7.3 innings. Gulp. I can't believe he's really changed that much in one start, but it'll say something pretty awful about the Pirates' coaching if the Cubs are able to fix him in short order. I was fine with the Gorzelanny trade in part because I figured his arm was fried and in part because I wasn't that impressed with his AAA numbers. Not that they weren't good, but you expect a veteran pitcher to succeed in AAA. I'd would have rather have taken a shot on someone new, someone who wouldn't be eligible for arbitration soon, rather than worry much about Gorzelanny, who hasn't pitched well in the bigs for a couple of years. I'm not sure how fair that was of me, but that's what I thought at the time. I'm not sure how much I should change that now. In the comments, though, Maguro has a really good point: the Reds lineup Gorzelanny faced today was horrible:
Basically, that's Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and a AAA team. You could make a case for Jonny Gomes and Ryan Hanigan being a bit better than that, based on their stats this year, but it wouldn't be a very compelling one, based on their careers as a whole. I'd like to see Gorzelanny mow down a couple of real big league lineups before I worry too much about the Pirates misjudging him.
Patriot-News: Mazeroski Supports Pirates' Overhaul
Bill Mazeroski comes out in support of the Pirates' recent flurry of trades, which is quite the 180 since last year, when he ranted after the Xavier Nady trade that "We just traded two of our best players for four guys I never heard of."
Minor League Baseball: Indianapolis vs. Durham
Daniel McCutchen was awesome through 6.3 innings tonight, striking out seven and walking none. This McCutchen has fallen off the radar this year a little, but he probably now should be considered a viable option for the last spot in the rotation. Earlier this year, I'd worried that he'd allow too many homers as a big league starter, but he's now allowed only three (including one tonight) since the end of May.
Minor League Baseball: Altoona vs. Portland
Pedro Alvarez, Gorkys Hernandez and Brian Friday all had big nights against Boston's AA affiliate. Alvarez went 3-for-6 with a homer and two doubles.
Minor League Baseball: Kannapolis vs. West Virginia
Starling Marte, Robbie Grossman and Quincy Latimore have contributed two hits apiece tonight against Kannapolis. A couple days ago, someone in the comments asked why Latimore doesn't receive more attention. It's a fair question, and the answer probably has something to do with the facts that people (understandably) don't trust Dave Littlefield's draft picks, and that Latimore hasn't posted a really dominant season yet. But he's always been fairly young for his levels, and this year he's batting .283 with good power. I'm a little bit wary of him because his control of the strike zone has been atrocious, but he's definitely a prospect.