Gonna make last night’s recap quick because the game is at 12:35 today, for whatever reason. First things first, Andy LaRoche had a huge game last night. In the second inning, he followed Brandon Moss’s triple with what should’ve been a hard single up the middle, but was robbed of a hit by Kelly Johnson. He made a couple of really nice plays in the field, including a nice double play by spearing a liner and making the throw to first, and he did eventually add his second hit of the season and a walk to his line for the night. Before the game last night, Nate at Sixty Feet, Six Inches took a look at some batted ball data and sees a bounceback coming for LaRoche. He certainly looked like someone that’s ready to break out a little bit last night.
The big story of the game, though, was Paul Maholm and his dance through the proverbial raindrops to toss seven shutout innings at the Braves. It looked like he was in troublein the first when he loaded the bases with no outs, but he got a pop-up and then a textbook 1-2-3 double play and was quickly out of things. His line wasn’t great the rest of the way (3 walks and only 2 strikeouts), but he kept the Braves off of the scoreboard for seven innings and that was enough to get Grabow and Capps in to the game to nail down the win. Their job became much easier with Nate McLouth’s two-run insurance homer in the eighth, and the Pirates get to spend another day at .500.