Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Game 59 Recap: Pirates 8, Diamondbacks 5

After the top of the eighth inning I opened up Microsoft Word document to talk about what a sluggish night this was for Kevin Correia and for the Pirates as a whole. During the middle stretch of the game I was formulating my ideas and thoughts in my head (as I typically do) and trying to piece something to say about this game, and it was going to suck. Recapping losses are tough and they suck to do but tonight was different.

Literally just as I opened up my document and the Pirates started it off. Down 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth the inning starts off alright with a double by pinch hitter Garret Jones. Fair enough. Leadoff runner in scoring position is nice but the Pirates had stranded that same situation not scoring a run a few innings prior. Tabata then doubles to score Jones. OK, one run game, this might be possible. Josh Harrison then squares to bunt Tabata, the tying run, to third with two horrible attempts. Nothing like getting down 0-2 in the…single up the middle and Tabata scores. Xavier Paul then bunts and Harrison beats the throw to second followed by a walk to McCutchen. Overbay then comes up, with no outs, and the bases loaded. He works the count to 3-0 before taking a fastball down the middle. Lyle then decides he wants to go shopping, at the GAP. Three runs score and the Pirates who were pretty much all but dead before the half inning now have a three run lead. Awesome.

Although the Pirates did a nice job the Diamondbacks didn’t want to win this game. If you are asking yourself “how in the world would a team not want to win” then all you had to do was watch as David Hernandez played as if he was on the Pirates payroll (hint he plays for the Diamondbacks). Hernandez went 0.0+ innings (he didn’t record an out) but gave up five runs, all earned, walked one and four hits to let the Pirates back in it.

Kevin Correia was not himself. He was able to hold it together for four innings or so before losing it in the fifth. To be honest he didn’t look good all night. He threw an eight pitch third inning which he seemed to have it all together but everything was up in the zone and the Diamondbacks were taking advantage of it. Correia was touched up for four runs and eight hits through five innings.

The Pirates threw out a pretty “meh” lineup today. Harrison and Paul were your 2-3 hitters and Overbay was your fifth. Brandon Wood was in the lineup and Arizona starter Dan Hudson treated it as such. He struck out seven Pirates and only gave up three hits in seven innings of work before turning it over to the bullpen and you know how that went. The jist of this was that the Pirates were out there with a bad lineup and still managed to win.

As bad as Correia was he still kept the team in the game. It was never too far out of reach and that was huge. Even when you don’t have your best stuff you still need to be able to gut it out and eat some innings and give his team a chance to win. That is what Correia did tonight.

The offense did just enough. They only got seven hits but they made them count and made the D-Backs pay for their mistakes. That is very encouraging. Sure they are not going to contend this year but they are making strides. In order to be a winner you are going to have to win games you aren’t supposed to or aren’t deserving of winning and this was one of those games.

Ronny Cedeno was the only Pirate with multiple hits. Just unreal this lineup scored eight runs. More power to them.

Joel Hanrahan is just filthy nasty. His slider made the Diamondback hitters look like they were in little league. This guy has been pretty flawless this season and if he is on there is no way that any team is going to come back on him.

Good night to be a Bucco fan.

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