Sunday, September 30, 2012

9th Inning Pinch Hit Homer Assures Another Losing Season for Pirates

Xavier Paul had one at bat Sunday, but it was a game changer. He was asked to come in the top of the 9th and hit for Miguel Cairo, and launched a game inning solo homer off of Joel Hanrahan. That hit allowed the Reds to take two of three in Pittsburgh, and assured a losing season for the Pirates, their 20th consecutive losing season, the longest streak in the history of American professional sports.

Johnny Cueto had a good game. Going seven innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking only one. Aroldis Chapman got the save in the ninth, but got himself in some trouble, giving up one hit and walking two. He managed to hold it together, striking out two and not allowing a runner to cross the plate.

The Good
- Wilson Valdez got two hits, and a run bringing his average up to .203.
- Joey Votto went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
- Today Miguel Cairo looked like he's awoken from a slumber that's lasted the majority of the regular season, going 2 for 3.
- Johnny Cueto had a good, but not great start. His numbers would have looked a lot better if not for a pair of unearned runs, allowing the Pirates to easily tie it up.
- The hero of the day Xavier Paul went 1 for 1, with a 9th inning go ahead pinch hit home run. His average has improved to .313.

The Bad
- The Reds had an uncharacteristic day defensively, having three errors, one by Joey Votto and two by pitchers Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. With as good as this team is defensively, that has to be a high mark on the season.
- Drew Stubbs went 0 for 4, including a strikeout with a go ahead run on second base.
- Todd Frazier also went 0 for 4 with a strikeout, leaving 3 men on base throughout the day.

The Notables
- 32,814 showed up to watch the Pirates clinch a losing season.
- Today was a 55 degree, cloudy day in Pittsburgh.
- The Reds move to 96-63, an identical record to the Washington Nationals. Although their record are the same, the Nationals have a winning record against the Reds (5-2) and would take the #1 seed if both teams reach the playoffs with an identical record.
- Tomorrow the team heads to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals for the final series of the season.
- Bronson Arroyo (12-9 3.70 ERA, 123 SO) takes on Jaime Garcia (9-7 3.99 ERA, 92 SO), first pitch is at 8:15 PM EST.

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