Chicago 3 – Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny was a 14 game winner for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007 but fell out of favor with Pirates management after showing up to spring training out of shape prior to the 2008 season.
Gorzelanny was sent to Indianapolis in June of 2008. After his demotion to Indianapolis, Gorzelanny was never given another shot to be a main-stay in the Pirates starting rotation as Gorzelanny began the 2009 season in Class AAA.
Gorzelanny was eventually traded to the Chicago Cubs in a 5 player deal 17 days ago.
Those close to Gorzelanny have indicated for months that Gorzelanny was never given a “fair shot” of getting back into the rotation after his demotion last summer.
When Gorzelanny was traded to the Chicago Cubs, it was a dream come true for the Illinois native.
“Since I’ve gotten over here, it’s been amazing to be playing in my hometown. My first start here at home was a great feeling,” he said. “The crowd was great, it was a pretty good game. It’s exciting being home, it’s just special.”
Gorzelanny had the opportunity this afternoon to show his old bosses that they made a mistake in trading the former 14 game winner but Gorzelanny just looked at it as another game.
“It’s definitely a weird feeling seeing those guys, especially since I came up with a bunch of those guys,” he said, “I took it like it was just another game.”
Gorzelanny (5-2) pitched 5 strong innings against his former team, giving up 3 hits and 1 earned run as the Cubs defeated the Pirates 3-1. He also had 8 strikeouts (season high) on the afternoon.
The Pirates scored their only run in the 5th inning on Andrew McCutchen’s sacrifice fly to center. The Pirates have scored four runs in their last four games as the team has lost 17 of their last 20 games.
Despite the loss, the Pirates received another quality start from pitcher Zach Duke (9-11).
Duke pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits but the run support wasn’t there for Duke, which has been a common theme all season.
Wrigley Field has also not been kind to Duke. The All-Star pitcher has not won in Chicago since 2006.
Pirates manager John Russell has been a strong advocate for Duke all season and was very pleased with Duke’s outing against the Cubs.
“He’s been doing that for us a lot this year. He’s been very consistent. It’s just unfortunate we don’t score many runs when he pitches”, Russell said in his post-game comments.
The Pirates fall to 46-70 on the season and the team needs to win 17 of their final 46 games to avoid losing 100 games for the second time this decade.
1B Steve Pearce went 2-for-4 to lead the Pirates with two hits. Pearce is batting .233 on the season and is in danger of losing his starting spot as the team is expected to call up Jeff Clement, sometime after September 1st.
Clement will get a strong look at first base for the final 20-25 games of the season.
*The Pirates recalled SS Brian Bixler and purchased the contract of RHP Denny Bautista from Class AAA Indianapolis. The team designated OF Jeff Salazar for assignment.
Salazar is batting 0.43 on the season.