8 Down 73 To Go!
Where else can you start following the 3-0 Pirates victory over the Astros than with Paul Maholm? A complete game 99 pitch shutout gem by Maholm. He struck out 4 and allowed 3 hits. He faced 28 batters in the game, 1 over the minimum.
All night the Astros looked outclassed when it came to facing Maholm. Not until the forth inning did they hit a fly ball into the outfield. Just a masterful pitching performance.
Many will talk of Paul Maholm finally turning the corner. Don't count your chickens yet. He may have his blinker on, but he isn't to the turn yet. If this is a taste of what can be expected the rest of the year, the Pirates may have the best 1-2-3 pitchers in the National League. The scary thing for the league, the 1-2-3 does not include the opening day started Zach Duke.
Although the Pirates scored only 3 runs, there were three players who stood out with their bats. Jason Bay gets the top nod driving in 2 runs. After a 3 for 4 day, Jason Bay is now hitting .290.
Both runs that scored on Bay's hits were in the person of the red hot Jack Wilson. Wilson had 2 doubles raising his average to .311 having hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. During that span he has 5 doubles and 10 runs scored.
Ronny Paulino hit his first home run of the season to straight away center field as part of a 2 for 3 day that raised his average above the Mendoza line.
Jose Bautista extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has now reached base safely in 17 of 18 games this season.