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Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, May 27, 2005

Pirates 8, Reds 4

Last night was refreshing. It felt good to know that we didn't have to worry about blowing a close game, and it felt better to see Ollie pitching (fairly) well. His outing last night was almost identical to his start last Saturday:
Yesterday: 5.1 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 ER, 5 BB, 8K, 109 pitches, groundout/flyout ratio of 1/7
Saturday: 5 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 ER, 4 BB, 8K, 96 pitches, GO/FO ration of 1/6
Last night was only the third time he went over 100 pitches this year. The first time was against the Cubs (101 in 6 innings, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6K) and the second time was his masterpiece in Houston (121 in 7.2, 0, 2, 9.) He hasn't had to be a highly durable pitcher thusfar, but that's mostly because he hasn't pitched well enough to keep him in the game. Hopefully as the season progresses his performance will continue to get better and his IP will go up. One stat that concerns me a bit is his groundout/flyout ratio, which on the year is 30/64. Obviously guys are getting under the ball (12 HR allowed in 47.1 IP) and a lower number of groundballs means a lower number of DPs. This is fine since when he's pitching well he isn't allowing many hits, but if he starts letting people on base runs will start piling up on him. Although with the way our infielders have been playing lately, maybe he's on to something.

Looks like all Bay and Lawton needed was a little tough love. Bay was 1-3 (an RBI double,) had 2 walks, and scored twice. Lawton had a chat with McClendon before the game in which Lloyd told him to relax at the plate and not put so much pressure on himself. It seemed to work, as he went 3-4 with a walk, 3 runs scored, and 2 RBI, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. Lloyd decided to shuffle up the batting order a bit, switching Jack and Tike at the 2 and 7 spots. Both went 1-5 with a double and a run scored. He also switched Mackowiak and Castillo at the 5 and 6 spots. Mackowiak continued his ridiculous hitting in May (good Dejan Kovacevic article here) going 3-4 with a walk and 3 RBI. Guy's been straight up ridiculous this month, and fortunately Lloyd has decided to start playing him against all righties we face. A sound decision if you ask me, although I'd play him every day if given the opportunity. Castillo, on the other hand, went 0-5, and is in a 3-17 slump that has dropped his average from .314 to .301. After hitting 2 homers in his first 6 games back from injury, he hasn't hit one in the 13 games since. He's also still not drawing any walks, with 3 in his 79 ABs this season. Why has this guy not gotten a day off since coming back? Unless I'm forgetting something, he's played in every game since he got off the DL. I'm not saying to bench him because of poor performance, I'm just saying that we should give him a day off and give Sanchez or Hill a chance to play for a while.



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