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Andy LaRoche Goes Berzerk

5-5, two homers, two doubles, six RBIs against his former team.... and now a curtain call. This is insane. This is a huge day for LaRoche, Zach Duke and the Pirates. It's been wonderful to see LaRoche's hitting pick up this month. As I type this, LaRoche is smiling broadly. I think this is the first time I've ever seen him do that.

UPDATE: Duke narrowly missed a shutout, allowing a triple and a sacrifice fly in the ninth. The Bucs win, 11-1, with a startling amount of that offense coming from LaRoche. Garrett Jones hit a solo homer, though, and Andrew McCutchen had three hits. This was a great series for the Bucs, who take three of four from the Dodgers, the last one in extremely impressive fashion. 

UPDATE II: I've argued since he was acquired that LaRoche should have a place in the Pirates' starting lineup, and it's nice to see him have some success. But he's far from out of the woods. Even after today's binge, he still has only a .736 OPS. That's acceptable given his good defense, but the main reason you accept it is because it's only his age-25 season and there's still some room for improvement. 

UPDATE III: John Russell's decision to remove Duke with one out left doesn't interest me much, personally, but feel free to discuss that here, too.