Pirates Dominated By Johnson, Shutout By Marlins

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
Following their best series of this young 2011 season against the Cincinnati Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates traveled south to take on the Florida Marlins for a three game series.  The Buccos were looking to continue their success on the road this season, where they have an impressive 7-3 record.  Pittsburgh sent Paul Maholm to the hill to face off against the Marlins’ ace Josh Johnson.
One night after scoring nine runs on the Reds’ pitching staff, Pittsburgh could barely muster a couple of hits against Johnson.  The sturdy right-hander pitched seven flawless innings, giving up only two hits and one walk, while striking out nine Buccos, lowering his miniscule ERA to just 1.00 for the season.  Garrett Jones’ blast off the wall and John Bowker’s pinch-hit single were the only blemishes on Johnson’s card tonight, but neither led to any type of threat for the Pirates.
Johnson also helped his own cause tonight, getting things rolling in the second inning.  His poke single to shallow right center scored Mike Stanton and John Buck, giving the Marlins a 2-0 advantage.
The Marlins put the game away in the fourth inning with four more runs on Maholm.  Buck doubled home Stanton, and later scored when Hanley Ramirez drew a bases loaded walk.  Gaby Sanchez’s broken bat dribbler scored two more runs, giving Florida a 6-0 lead, which would be the final.
Maholm once again didn’t have his best stuff tonight.  While he didn’t pitch a horrible game, he got himself into trouble early and, without the shutdown arm strength available in his arsenal, he wasn’t able to get out of it cleanly.  He lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, while walking three.  His ERA sits at 4.30, and he is now 0-3 for the season.
On a brighter note, the Pirates’ bullpen came in and pitched very well in the losing effort.  Mike Crotta, Daniel McCutchen, and Joe Beimel each threw scoreless ball to close out the game.
This was one of those games where the opposing pitcher was just too good.  Johnson is the type of pitcher who is capable of completely shutting down an offense, and that’s exactly what he did tonight.  The Pirates’ starting lineup was just 1-26 tonight, with the only hit coming from Jones.  Pedro Alvarez and Ronny Cedeno were both 0-3 tonight, with their averages dropping to .183 and .180 respectively.
The Buccos will look to get back on the winning track tomorrow evening against the Marlins.  Pittsburgh will send Charlie Morton to the mound, coming off a superb effort last Friday when he pitched a complete game against the Reds.  Rick Nolasco will make the start for the Marlins.
Record Vs. Marlins: 0-1
Record Vs. N.L. East: 0-1
Record On The Road: 7-4
Overall Record: 8-9
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

Leave a Reply