If I were to tell you that in two straight days that Dana Eveland was going to beat the Pirates then the Bucs would counter with a win from Brian Burres what kind of odds would you have to get to take those odds? They would probably have to be pretty high and probably pretty unlikely. Hell, I have to go look at box scores just to make sure this really happened over the last two days. Yes, that is right, those things did happen over the past two days as the Pirates FINALLY broke its five game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Cubs.
This was an unusually long game and when you have a long game between two teams that are a combined 32 games under .500 you aren’t going to get too many exciting things. Well, you would have been wrong there too because Alex Presley put on an offensive show today, going 3-for-4 with a walk and two triples. That is right, two triples. He also scored two of the three Pirate runs on the day. Presley became the first Pirate since Andrew McCutchen in June 8/9 of 2009. The reason it is between two days is because Cutch did it in a 15-inning game that spanned over two days. Whatever, Presley had another great game and is starting to look like he did before he went on the DL. It was really great to see.
Speaking of McCutchen, he got a pretty big scare when he was hit with a Ryan Dempster pitch on the left hand in the first inning. All the replays I saw made it look pretty nasty and I still have no idea how there is no fracture or broken bones in his hand. Word is that McCutchen will be OK and it is just a bruise but he might not play the rest of the week, which is OK with me. Get him healthy. This team is far from playing for anything of importance (team wise) so make sure he gets right and don’t mess with getting him further injured.
So, Burres, eh? To be honest I was pretty terrified when they brought him up for the start but I am more than happy to be dead wrong. Burres only tossesd 5.1 innings but he scattered a mere five hits and gave up a lone run on a Carlos Pena home run. He also struck out five and only walked one. I will take that kind of start (well, maybe go six innings) every day of the week.
The bullpen was perfect as Jason Grilli, Chris Leroux, Jose Veras and Joel Hanrahan combined to go 3.2 perfect innings while striking out five in the process. The pen has been shaky for much of the past couple weeks but they really showed up today. Grilli and Leroux might be the hottest arms in the bullpen as of right now and they came out and gave good work then Veras came in and just dominated three straight Cub hitters in the eighth inning. Hanrahan picked up his 33rd save with a perfect ninth.
Josh Harrison continues to play some decent ball with two hits and driving in a run and Tabata picked up a two out RBI after one of Presley’s singles. Garrett Jones also doubled home the first Pirates run. The Bucs only went 3-of-14 with runners in scoring position but who cares, they did enough to get a win which is something we haven’t been able to say about them.
It is so much more fun to write recaps after wins. Let’s try to do this more often guys, OK? Another day game tomorrow. Who plays Saturday day game? Stupid Cubs.