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 Post subject: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:56 pm 
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More good pitching and Junior LaRoche with a 2 run bomb for a 2-1 win. Break 'em up . . .

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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Except for Gorzo, yep. He looked a lot like Gorzo-2008.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:01 pm 
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ZelieMike wrote:
Except for Gorzo, yep. He looked a lot like Gorzo-2008.

ZM


I was listening on MLB.com and Walkie was saying that Gorzo isn't a lock to make the rotation, regardless of whatever numbers he puts up in ST (I think the exact quote was, "even if he posts a 2.00 ERA"). The pirates want to see crisp pitches and better control. Neither exhibited today.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:27 pm 
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Bob was criticle on him in 2007 about throwing too many pitches and not being able to finish guys off, often leading to his high pitch totals...

Hopefully thats something that he's working on too...I'm hoping he can pull it together and be a very good pitcher

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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:05 pm 
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It was nice to see the team to add some veteran clout to the lineup today, by allowing Maz to DH...

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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Re Gorzo: the game recap put it this way:

"Gorzelanny faced three-ball counts to the first four batters he faced. He walked two batters, hit a batter and gave up Wilson Ramos' RBI double."

Yikes.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:16 pm 
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I'm very encouraged by the pitching so far. I know it's spring training, and the weather has been cold, but still, the strike zone is the same size, and these guys are finding it, unlike last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:22 pm 
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I'm really pulling for Gorzo. I think he is the key to the staff going from ok to pretty darn good. Ability wise, I think he is at the top of the list. Hopefully he just has to get over the hump and forget last year. Being in shape is a good start. Hopefully yesterday was just a bump and not the norm.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:32 pm 
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While I certainly hope Gorzo turns it around and fortifies this staff as PirateParrot suggests, and I think he eventually will, I think right now he is behind Maholm, Snell, and Duke on the depth chart. I think he is probably still ahead of Dan McCutchen. That means he is fighting with Ohlendorf and Karstens for the last 2 spots in the rotation.

Going in to spring training, I would have guessed Ohlendorf would go to the pen, which is still where I think he ultimately ends up. But, given the surprisingly strong performances of guys like Bootcheck, I think it is pretty much a given that Ohlendorf starts in the rotation, further narrowing the battle to Gorzo and Karstens for the last spot.

If Karstens is healthy, I think the Pirates would like to see him open the year as the #5 starter and have Gorzo continue to work on what is obviously still a control issue in Indy. However, if Karstens is still behind schedule, I think Gorzo gets the spot by default. The wild card of course is Dumatrait, but he is battling his own injury problems and I consider him a long shot for the rotation, at least on April 6.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:49 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
I'm very encouraged by the pitching so far. I know it's spring training, and the weather has been cold, but still, the strike zone is the same size, and these guys are finding it, unlike last year.

I wish that were spot on, Ralphie, but I do not believe so. It is spring training, so the performance needs to be kept in context. However, the Pirates' pitching has not done a good job of avoiding walks in spring thus far. They have given up 27 walks in 63 innings (not including the game against the Netherlands), or an average of 3.9 walks per 9 innings.

Quite a few are from guys who will not pitch with the Pirates right now (Barthameier, for example), but by the same token, a lot of the opposing hitters are not major league ready, so it balances out somewhat. Giving up nearly 4 walks per 9 innings will not get it done. Last year, for example, the horrible Pirates pitching staff gave up 657 walks in 1455 innings, or an average of 4.06 walks per 9 innings. That was so putrid that it led in part to Andrews' firing.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Thanks for bursting my bubble. I hadn't looked at the numbers in that detail, I just noticed a lot of zeroes being put up, at least in the run column.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
... They have given up 27 walks in 63 innings (not including the game against the Netherlands), or an average of 3.9 walks per 9 innings.


Not quite buying into that Bucfan... because.

Quote:
Quite a few are from guys who will not pitch with the Pirates right now (Barthameier, for example),


I think you stop right there ... because

Quote:
but by the same token, a lot of the opposing hitters are not major league ready, so it balances out somewhat...


I don't buy this. The pitchers are being asked to throw strikes. Whether the guy is MLB or not. The idea, as I read it, is simply to throw strikes, good strikes to be sure, but the key is strikes. And, aside from guys like Barthmeir and Gorzo and a couple relievers who won't be around, the key guys HAVE done that.

So, I find it encouraging.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:59 pm 
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I'm worried by that number because they are mostly just throwing fastball so far, and the umpires want the guys to be swinging this early. It's an encouraging number towards the end of camp, but for now? I'm not so sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:00 pm 
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On another note, are we ever going to get a televised game this spring? I just want to SEE the boys in action!


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Say what you will, Zelie, but look at the walk totals for the past several games. 5, 6, 7 walks ... ugly.

Kerrigan is preaching first-pitch strikes, staying ahead of the batters, no walks. 1000% agree with that. But the likely starting staff (Maholm, Snell, Karstens, Ohlendorf, Gorzellany) have pitched 13 innings and have given up 5 walks (4 by Gorzellany).

Look, it is spring freaking training. I would no more panic about the results in spring than I would the performance of a guy in a whiffle-ball game after practice. But the fact is that the starters are facing quite a few grade B players, and some (Ohlendorf, Duke, Gorzo) are throwing a lot of pitches, and are working too many 2-0 and 3-1 counts.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:12 pm 
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So what you're saying then is that Maholm, Snell, Duke, and Ohlendorf have given up only one walk combined. Guess they're doing pretty well then.

Really, is 4 walks per 9 innings bad? I always thought 1 walk for every 2 innings was about standard.

OBTW, we won again today. Doing something right!


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:35 pm 
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No we didn't. Reds score 5 in the bottom of the 10th to win 10-6.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:15 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
Really, is 4 walks per 9 innings bad?

It ain't good.

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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Say what you will, Zelie, but look at the walk totals for the past several games. 5, 6, 7 walks ... ugly.


If it was one pitcher going 6 innings, then yes. But, its one pitcher or two going one inning that do it. Its not Maholm, Snell, Duke, and McCutchen (my choices). It certainly hasn't been the relievers who will most likely make the team, either (I give Capps a pass, cause he's already proved to be a strike machine)

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Another Grapefruit win . . .
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:18 pm 
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Ralphie wrote:
So what you're saying then is that Maholm, Snell, Duke, and Ohlendorf have given up only one walk combined.

Ohlendorf worked a bunch of 3-ball counts against the Netherlands. Kerrigan is rightly emphasizing working ahead of hitters and putting them away. Gorzo and Ohlendorf have some work to do.

But let me repeat, for at least the third time this spring, THE SPRING STATS MEAN NEXT TO NOTHING. I would much, much, much rather have Ohlendorf struggle a bit with getting ahead of hitters, and come out of spring training healthy and throwing 96 mph (as he has), than have him mowing down hitters and end spring with the hated "elbow discomfort."


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