The Pirates did something today that they couldn’t do the entire week last week and that is beat the Astros. It took a really strong effort from James McDonald and some timely hits. It wasn’t pretty and it was very, very, sloppy due to the rain that fell on PNC Park the entire game and to be honest I have no idea how the game got through in its entirety but whatever, a win is a win.
McDonald got through 7.1 innings and it was only the second time this season that the righty go through seven innings. I didn’t get into my apartment till the fifth inning but from what I saw McDonald was very efficient. He threw only 91 pitches in those 7.1 innings and battle the elements the entire time. He struck out six and only gave up three hits while throwing 19 first pitch strikes to the 28 total batters he faced. McDonald has been pretty good all year, the only thing holding him back was a little of the wildness.
Jason Grilli came in to relieve McDonald after he walked two batters and got two straight outs, a comebacker where he went to third base for the force and then a huge strikeout to get rid of the threat. Great pitching by Grilli as usual. Hanrahan pitched in the sloppiest conditions of all and earned his 35th save despite a walk and two hits.
Ryan Doumit had an outstanding day at the plate with three hits and drove in the first of the Pirates runs with one of his two doubles on the day. I didn’t get to see either double but I am going to assume they were pretty well struck baseballs. Doumit has been even more streaky than usual since returning from the DL but whatever.
Josh Harrison continues to play some hot baseball as he had two more hits today and drove in the Pirates second run. In three at bats today Harrison only saw seven pitches and despite having a pretty decent .272 batting average he only has a .284 on base percentage and a .367 slugging percentage. I like Harrison as a bench guy but this isn’t going to continue. I am glad he decided to step up with nobody else seeming to want to play third base.
Derrek Lee went deep again, this time in the home half of the ninth inning and NOT against the Cubs. Who would have thought? It was his fourth home run since joining the Pirates and first that wasn’t against the Cubs. It was an opposite field shot that gave the Pirates some much needed breathing room.
It was a sloppy game and it wasn’t pretty but JMac had a nice performance and the offense did just enough to get the win. It would be nice to sweep the Astros but there are still two more games and who knows about the offense and pitching staff anymore. Hit or miss, today I guess you can call it a hit.