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Inside the Pirates-Diamondbacks weekend series

Posted By Jim Keller On Sep 20 2010 @ 10:21 am In Pittsburgh Pirates | No Comments

[1]The Skinny:    The Bumbling Bucs didn’t bumble this weekend, sweeping a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks to tie a season high with three straight wins for the fifth time this series.

It was the fourth sweep of the season at PNC Park (Reds, Cubs twice) and the first-ever sweep of Arizona home or away.

Pittsburgh is 51-98 for the season, but have won nine of their last 13 at PNC Park. The Bumbling Bucs are on pace for 107 losses, which would be the most since Arizona lost 111 in 2004.   The Pirates lost 112 games in 1952 when the schedule called for only 154 games.   The Bumbling Bucs need to finish 12-1 to avoid losing 100 games.

The Bumbling Bucs are 15-59 (.202) on the road, the sixth lowest mark since 1901 and lowest since 1945.

J-Mac has to be the best pitcher Huntington has traded for

The Good: RHP James McDonald allowed two runs in five innings to pick up the win on Saturday.  He ran his scoreless innings streak to 20 before getting tagged in the fourth.  It’s the longest scoreless streak since Kip Wells went 22 frames in 2002.   At 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 9 starts since joining the club, J-Mac has more wins than Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens and Brad Lincoln have combined (3) in 44 starts. …

After starting his Pirates career 4-for-31, OF John Bowker went 3-for-4 with a double and homer in Saturday’s 9-6 win.  A solid minor league hitter, many fans feel he’s a prospect and everyday player next season, but the 27-year-old is a AAAA player. …

The Altoona Curve, the Bumbling Bucs Class AA entry in the Eastern League, won the league championship on Saturday night.  Tony Watson allowed two runs in six innings and struck out 10 in the 5-2 victory.

2B Neil Walker hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning on Sunday, his 12th for a 4-3 lead, and power RHPs  Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek retired all five hitters they faced with three strikeouts to nail down the first Pirates sweep. …

OF Andrew McCutchen has two homers and nine RBI in his last eight games.

The Bad: With 106 strikeouts, 3B Pedro Alvarez has already set the single-season record for strikeouts in a season for a Pirates 3Bman.  Heis three strikeouts away from setting the record for rookies age 23 or younger (Ralph Kiner, 1946).

The Ugly: None this weekend.  There has been enough “ugly” going around.

Fantasy Focus [2]OF Jose Tabata and 2B Walker have a chance to become the first rookies to hit .300 for the Bucs since Jason Kendall in 1996.

Next: After an offday on Monday, the Bumbling Bucs play three games with St. Louis before closing out the home season with four against Houston this weekend.

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