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Thread: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

      
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    Default Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Pirates-Astros Preview
    STATS LLC

    With a losing record at home and a winning record away from PNC Park, it seems the Pittsburgh Pirates would be more than happy to embark on a six-game road trip.

    Even with a last-place club waiting for them, they can't be too excited about their first stop.

    The Pirates have lost nine straight and 19 of 22 in Houston, where they'll open a three-game set against the Astros on Tuesday night looking to get back to .500.

    Pittsburgh (32-33) comes into Minute Maid Park after a 6-4 homestand, one that could have been better had it managed to score more than four total runs in its four defeats.

    The Pirates weren't particularly sharp at the plate Monday against the Mets, but they were good enough to improve to 15-18 at home. Brandon Wood homered and Neil Walker drove in two runs as Pittsburgh received seven strong innings from Paul Maholm to a 3-1 victory.

    "It's always good to get your guy a win, especially when they're pitching their tail off and throwing like they've been throwing," Wood said of a starting staff that has a 2.60 ERA since May 18. "I'm sure that's a little frustrating when we're not hitting and putting runs on the board."

    Three runs represent the high-water mark for the Pirates in Houston over a nearly two-year stretch. Pittsburgh hasn't scored more than that in its last 13 games at Minute Maid, getting outscored 67-23 while dropping 12 of 13 since July 8, 2009.

    The Pirates haven't gone that many consecutive games at any venue without scoring at least four runs since a 13-game stretch from April 15, 1926, to April 25, 1927, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis.

    Bud Norris (4-4, 3.67 ERA) tries to extend those woes as the Pirates look to surpass their road win total (17) from 2010.

    If he can pitch anything like he did Wednesday against St. Louis, the Pirates could be in trouble. The right-hander walked five over eight innings, but the only hit he gave up was a seventh-inning homer to Lance Berkman in a 4-1 win.

    He certainly impressed his former teammate.

    "He reminds me a lot of Roger Clemens in terms of his aggressiveness and mound presence," Berkman told the Astros' official website. "That's about as high of praise as I can give somebody. I think he's very, very good, and he'll get even better."

    Norris is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two home starts against Pittsburgh.

    Andrew McCutchen, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games Monday and is 21 for 42 in June, is 5 for 16 with three extra-base hits against Norris.

    McCutchen still has a ways to go to match Hunter Pence, however. Houston's right fielder returned Monday after sitting Sunday with lower back tightness, and he extended his hitting streak to 23 games with a two-run homer -- one of his three hits -- as the last-place Astros (25-42) cruised to an 8-3 win over Atlanta.

    "Hopefully it's something we can build on," Pence said. "This is what we need more of. We need to show the capabilities that these guys have and we need to start growing."

    Pence should be happy to see the Pirates. He's hitting .446 with four homers and 16 RBIs in his last 18 games in the series, and he's 5 for 10 lifetime against Tuesday starter Jeff Karstens (3-4, 2.94).

    Karstens has been brilliant in his last two outings, giving up one run over 14 innings, but a lack of support has kept him from earning a decision.

    The right-hander is 0-2 with an 8.74 ERA in two career starts in Houston.

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Starting Pitchers

    Pittsburgh: Karstens (3-4, 2.94 ERA)
    Houston: Norris (4-4, 3.67 ERA)

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Gameday Matchup

    stat| Pittsburgh| Houston
    W-L |32 - 33 |25 - 42
    Night| 22-19| 16-28
    Grass |32-33| 23-41
    Current Streak| W1| W1
    Last 10 |6-4 |2-8

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Pitching Matchup

    Jeff Karstens: 3-4, 2.94 ERA
    Last appearance:
    6/09 vs ARI
    7.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND

    Bud Norris: 4-4, 3.67 ERA
    Last appearance:
    6/08 vs STL
    8.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.| Pittsburgh| Houston
    1. | J. Tabata, LF | M. Bourn, CF
    2. | R. Cedeno, SS| C. Barmes, SS
    3. | A. McCutchen, CF | H. Pence, RF
    4. | N. Walker, 2B | C. Lee, LF
    5. | G. Jones, RF | J. Keppinger, 2B
    6. | L. Overbay, 1B | B. Wallace, 1B
    7. | M. McKenry, C | C. Johnson, 3B
    8. | B. Wood, 3B | C. Corporan, C
    9. | J. Karstens, P | B. Norris, P

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Injury Report

    * Joe Beimel RP - Jun 14: 15-Day DL
    * Josh Harrison 3B - Jun 14: Day-To-Day
    * Evan Meek RP - Jun 14: 15-Day DL
    * Chris Snyder C - Jun 10: 60-Day DL

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Regular Season Series
    Pittsburgh leads 2-1 (as of Tue 6/14)

    Fri 5/6 HOU 3, @PIT 2
    Sat 5/7 @PIT 6, HOU 1
    Sun 5/8 @PIT 5, HOU 4

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Pittsburgh vs. Houston
    Pittsburgh Pirates (32-33) at Houston Astros (25-42), 8:05 p.m.

    (Sports Network) - Pittsburgh right-hander Jeff Karstens can get his team to .500 and end a personal drought tonight when the Pirates visit Minute Maid Park to begin a three-game series with the Houston Astros.

    The Pirates climbed within a game of the break even mark on Monday, when Neil Walker had two runs batted in to help back seven shutout innings from Paul Maholm in a 3-1 defeat of the New York Mets at PNC Park.

    Brandon Wood added a solo homer for Pittsburgh, which earned a split of the four-game series.

    Maholm (3-7) was sensational, scattering three hits and a pair of walks while striking out four. Joel Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth inning to record his 17th save of the season.

    The Pirates have stayed in contention in a jumbled National League Central Division and sit just five games behind co-leaders Milwaukee and St. Louis through 65 games.

    They are 1 1/2 games behind the third-place Cincinnati Reds.

    Karstens, a 28-year-old from San Diego, was 3-2 on the season after a 10-1 interleague defeat of Detroit on May 20, but is 0-2 with two no-decisions in four subsequent starts.

    He's allowed no more than three runs in any of the four outings and has been stellar in the last two, combining to allow just eight hits and one run in 14 innings while Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia, 2-1, and lost, 2-0, to Arizona.

    The Pirates are 7-7 in his 14 appearances.

    Karstens is 1-2 lifetime against Houston.

    The Astros go with 26-year-old righty Bud Norris, who's won his last two starts after a three-decision losing skid.

    Another California native, Norris was 2-4 on the year after dropping an 11-3 verdict to Arizona on May 28.

    He's leveled the mark at 4-4 with subsequent defeats of San Diego and St. Louis, combining to give up seven hits and five runs in 14 innings with eight strikeouts.

    He lost a 6-1 decision at Pittsburgh after going seven innings on May 7 and is 2-3 lifetime against the Pirates in five starts.

    On Monday in Houston, Hunter Pence brought life to a listless Astros lineup, going 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI as Houston avoided a sweep by the Braves behind an 8-3 victory in the finale of a four-game series.

    Pence, fresh from sitting out on Sunday due to tightness in his back, extended his career-best hitting streak to 23 games while contributing to the Astros' 14-hit attack.

    Brett Wallace reached base four times on two doubles and two walks while scoring twice and knocking in a run for Houston, which won for just the second time in 10 games.

    Wandy Rodriguez (4-3) halted Atlanta's winning streak at six with six shutout innings in his return from the disabled list.

    Pittsburgh took two of three from the Astros earlier in the year.

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    .... No vid stream for me at this time for the game tonight.....

    Will keep trying to search....

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Neil Walker is officially my favorite Bucco. I even bought a t-shirt with his name on it when I was at the TG party.

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    Default Re: Game 66 : Pirates @ Astros : 06.14.11

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Neil Walker is officially my favorite Bucco. I even bought a t-shirt with his name on it when I was at the TG party.
    He's definitely making a name for himself... I really like the cat.....

    ..... No vid stream tonight for me.... I'm done searching..... I give up...... Stuck with the ESPN Gamecast if I choose to follow the action.....

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