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Game 44 Open Thread -- May 24, 2009

Bannister Pineiro
3-1, 2.75 5-3, 3.48

Well that's 2 runs given up in 5 games and just 20 runs in the team's last 9 games. Take away two 8 run outings against the Brewers, and it's 4 runs given up in 7 games. Anybody want to take any bets on the likelihood of a shutout this afternoon? In looking at Wellemeyer's numbers from yesterday, it was only the 2nd time all year that he's gotten more ground balls than fly balls. The other time was in his first start of the year when the Pirates singled him to an excruciatingly slow demise. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise but Wellemeyer's had a more difficult time throwing strikes this year than last. Last year about 64% of his pitches were thrown for strikes and he sits at 62% this year. Yesterday, only about 58% of his pitches were strikes but he was able to get through it by getting ground balls and by only giving up the one extra base hit.

Pineiro's last start was a gem -- his game score was 86, second highest in his career. Today's MLB preview hinted that one of the reasons Pineiro was so successful last time out was b/c Tony deployed something of a defense-first lineup but, in looking at it, there doesn't appear to be a noticeable emphasis on defense. Ryan's at short and Rasmus was in CF, but that's been standard fare since the issues w/ Khalil Greene and the injury to Ankiel. Skip wasn't at 2nd but Ted Lilly, a lefty, was on the mound. Flanking Rasmus in the OF were Duncan and Stavinoha -- not exactly the best defensive OF in the history of the game. The key was that Pineiro got 714 ground balls in that game (really just 17) and the infielders made the plays. Hopefully it can happen again.