The Pirates started the game off alright by most people’s standards. All they did was collect seven hits and score nine runs with the help of three Brewer errors. Not thing really went wrong for the Pirates in the top of the first. The highlight was easily Pedro Alvarez’s first career grand slam. As I talked about last night Pedro has been watching a lot of pitches and laying off the garbage, which was going to make him a better hitter. What happened? Dave Bush went to a 2-2 count with the bases loaded and had to get a pitch over the plate because Pedro hasn’t been chasing. He hangs a pitch and Pedro made him pay. This was the first time since June 8, 1989 that the Pirates have scored nine runs in the first inning.
Pedro came up in the second inning and mashed another ball over the right field fence for his second HR of the night. It is pretty safe to say that he is adjusting very well after a slow start. I’ll take it.
Brad Lincoln wasn’t very good tonight. After you get nine runs in the first inning you pretty much figure you can cruise through six, maybe seven innings pretty easy. Pfff, easy, who does that? Lincoln gives up three in the second and four more in the third and actually gets yanked before his mound counterpart Dave Bush did. The worst part of the entire game was when Matt Lecroy legged out an infield single because Lincoln didn’t hustle over to cover first base. Unacceptable. You would think that PFP (pitchers fielding practice) is something that he does every day but yet when in a game he treats it like a chore to go over and get an out at first base. Embarassing.
Luckily, DJ Carrasco could come in and give the Pirates a few scoreless innings to stop the bleeding for a little bit so everyone could catch their breath. Carrasco came in for 2.2 innings and struck out five Brewers with some filthy stuff tonight.
It wasn’t for long as Bandon Donnelly comes into the game and walks the leadoff hitter in the sixth, gets an out then gives up a two run bomb to Ryan Braun. Great pitching. Besides Carrasco, Meek, Hanrahan, Dotel there really isn’t too much going on pitching wise for the Pirates. Do I realize that there are no starting pitchers that I just listed? Yes, yes I do realize that. It is sad.
Thankfully Lopez got a few outs and then it was back to the usual in Meek, Hanrahan and Dotel. The backbone of the late innings. Meek got the job done and Hanrahan painted the corner with 98 MPH cheese and got Braun looking to end the top of the eighth inning. There is nobody in MLB I hate more than Ryan Braun so that was especially good.
Dotel came in and earned his 20th save of the season by getting three strikeouts with a Jim Edmonds double sprinkled in there. Whatever.
Neil Walker also had a pretty nice night for the Black and Gold. He had five hits and pushed his average up to .311. I mean that is pretty ridiculous game in itself. Couple that with the Pirates scoring nine runs in the first, almost blowing that nine run lead, having Brad Lincoln pitch less innings than Dave Bush (who gave up all nine runs in the first), John Russell getting tossed and horrid umpiring lead to a game where anything could happen and you wouldn’t be surprised.
No win is a bad win for the Pirates.