Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Game 78 Recap - Pirates 7, Blue Jays 6




Kevin Correia picked up his staff leading 10th win and the Pirtes offense showed up to push them to two games over .500 and within three games of first place with a 7-6 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

This was a wildly sloppy game that was a mixture between a whiffle ball hoem run derby and some terrible defense and neither team looking like any amount of lead would be enough for the pitching staff. The Rogers Centre is a launching pad for home runs and there were six home runs tonight while their playing surface was like playing with a bouncy ball on a blacktop surface.

Coming in the Pirates knew they needed to play some offense and that they did tonight. They used an Alex Presley home run in the third inning to plate their first two runs and you just knew that wasn’t going to be enough and they needed to add on. If you actually thought that then you were right.

Edwin Encarnacion hit the first of his two home runs in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead in half off of Correia. After the Pirates got out of that inning they went to work in the top of the fourth inning thanks to some bad defense and pitching from Toronto.

Matt Diaz started off the inning with a triple (yea, I guess you can call it that) when he hit a bloop single to right field and it bounced over the right fielder Eric Thames’ head and rolled all the way to the wall. No error since nobody actually touched the ball, but probably should have been one. Garrett Jones followed with a run scoring single (if you want to call it that) when he hit a ground ball to first baseman Adam Lind but Jays starter Jo Jo Reyes just decided not to cover first base (like he didn’t even make it half way over) so it was an easy infield single for Jones. Ronny Cedeno followed with a bloop single to right and then Presley drove home Jones with a single to shallow center. Neil Walker rounded out the four run inning with a single to left center field to score Cedeno.

Correia followed up the four run top of the fourth by giving up a mammoth two run blast to Jose Bautista (hey did you hear he used to play for the Pirates) to cut the Pirates lead to only three. Two innings later Bautista reached on an error by Chase d’Arnaud to score Thames who triple to open the inning. You see when I talked about earlier? Just nuts.

So it’s a one run game and Luis Perez did a nice job after Reyes was pulled after three innings. He pretty much shut the Pirates down and gave up only one hit over his three innings of work until he entered the seventh inning when Andrew McCutchen just hammered a middle of the plate fastball to left centerfield that got out of the park in about .2 seconds.

It then got interesting. Tony Watson relieved Corriea in the bottom of the seventh and promptly gave up back to back homers to Corey Patterson and Encarnacion. One run game. Not good. Chris Resop gets the call and walks the first batter he sees and then gives up a double to Yunel Escobar to put the tying run and third and the winning run at second with no outs. High leverage. Resop gets a strikeout then intentionally walks Bautista to get to Lind. Jose Veras gets called in. First two pitches are balls and I then throw the rented DVD I need to take back to Family Video on the floor in disgust and the next pitch he gets Lind to line into a double play to end the inning. Thanks Jose.

Spotless eighth for Veras and Hanrahan in the ninth. Over.

Thoughts:

-Presley was making his first start for the Pirates this year after getting called up yesterday. He was a September call up last season and got a cup of tea but there really wasn’t much to it. He was a monster for AAA Indy this year and he started off right for the Pirates with two hits and three runs batted in. He should get some regular playing time with Jose Tabata going to the 15-day DL so this isn’t going to be relegated to just the interleague series.

-KC was decent tonight. He only went six innings and gave up four runs but only gave up five hits. It could have been a lot worse and he did just enough to become the first Pirate since Steve Blass to earn his 10th win before the All-Star break. Nice accomplishment for a guy that most everyone thought wouldn’t be able to do much this season.

-Diaz went 3-for-4 with all three hits coming off the lefties that pitched for the Jays. I will allow it. When he was brought in he was supposed to be the guy who specialized in hitting the south paws and tonight he showed he could do that. Not sure if it was just Canada or if he is actually coming out of this slump but it was really nice to see. Hopefully he can come around start being more consistent.

-Can't imagine Cedeno starting tomorrow. In two situations he missed signs. The first was a hit and run he missed when Garrett Jones successfully stole second base when he was peaking half way (telling sign of a hit and run) and Ronny tried to bunt (no idea) and the second was when he had to call time out while on first base to have the third base coach run through signs again only to get thrown out on a pitch out becuase he was stealing. Any time you call time out as a base runner the other team knows something is on. Something was on. The steal sign. Cedeno was out by a mile. Clint Hurdle was not happy.

-Telling stat of the game? The Pirates were 4-of-9 with runners in scoring position and the Jays were 0-of-5. That wins ballgames.

-The Pirates did strike out 10 times but they also slugged out 12 hits. Whatever.

-Nobody likes Canada. Game tomorrow. Get your minds right.

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