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Dodgers Defeated By... Donald Veal? Jeff Karstens? Brandon Moss?

That the Pirates would win at all today seemed very unlikely even before considering the circumstances. But not only did they beat the first-place Dodgers, a team that usually destroys them, they did it with a ragtag bunch of pitchers. Jeff Karstens started and pitched well, but had to be pulled after a few innings, since he's just coming back from the DL and hasn't started in a while. That left a bunch of questionable guys to pitch more than half the game. Against all odds, though, things turned out fine.

The Pirates had a 3-1 lead by then thanks to a two-RBI bloop single by Brandon Moss, and they put in Donald Veal. That drew a series of groans from me--no matter how short-handed the bullpen might be, Veal is the absolute last guy you'd want in any winnable game. But after a bunch of wild fastballs and a quick visit from Joe Kerrigan, Veal started using more of his curveball, which today was borderline-unhittable and just plain great. He ended up striking out three batters, walking none, and allowing no earned runs in two innings. Steven Jackson, Jesse Chavez and Matt Capps took it from there, and the Bucs eked out a 3-1 victory. The Bucs benefited from some poor defensive play by the Dodgers, and from Matt Kemp getting himself picked off with Veal about to make a big mess in the fourth, but overall, some of the Pirates' worst players ended up looking great in this one.

A couple of links:

Alvarez, Owens Minor Players of Year
These were incredibly predictable picks, but now they're official: the Bucs named Pedro Alvarez and Rudy Owens their minor league hitter and pitcher of the year, respectively.

Could the Pirates Lose 110 Games in 2010? - Bucs Dugout
I did a big post right before the game on whether the Pirates could lose 110 next year, so be sure to check that out.