Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pirates Game 4 Recap - Dodgers 2, Pittsburgh 1

There are two ways to look at the game today. You could go the optimistic route and say that you got a pretty good outing out of what amounts to be a spot starter in Kevin Correia or you could look at the gloom and doom because the offense was only able to get five hits and only had two innings where they had even a chance of scoring.

When I really got to sit down and think about it I was probably more disappointed that the offense didn’t show up at all and struck out 10 times. Then I thought that they faced their third Cy Young winner in the first four games so that isn’t going to be easy on any pitching staff. Clayton Kershaw got the job done today and allowed only one run over seven innings that included seven strikeouts. The only run allowed was pretty well manufactured by the Pirates in the seventh inning. Alex Presley and Andrew McCutchen collected back-to-back singles with one out and then moved up on a deep fly ball to left field. It was a really heads up play as Juan Rivera was caught flat footed and Presley was able to move up but more importantly McCutchen was able to move up. Why was that more important? Because with one out Casey McGehee grounded out to the shortstop to score Presley which would have been an inning ending double play if McCutchen didn’t move up.

While that was awesome it was much more gloom and doom. The worst of which was in the top of the second inning when McGehee tripled to center field to lead off the inning and then was stranded. Yea, not much more to say there.

I talked about the other way to look at it and I have to admit that Kevin Correia came in and did the job. As you may know I am not a huge fan of Correia but you have to give him his just due. While he was pretty good last year on the road I didn’t expect him to come in and be this good today. Granted, the Dodgers aren’t a great team but any time you can get six innings where you only give up one run and four hits out of a guy that wouldn’t have been in the rotation if A.J. Burnett and Charlie Morton were both healthy. Juan Cruz had his third great outing after that and then Jason Grilli came out and nearly had an outstanding outing if it wasn’t for one pitch. One mistake to Andre Ethier cost it as he took it 387 feet to right field and that was it.

I still think this is going to be a successful road trip for the Pirates. Before today I thought they could go 5-4 in this trip and I think that holds true still. It doesn’t get much easier as they will face Chad Billingsley tomorrow night and then have to go against a pretty stacked Giants lineup starting Friday but it is what it is. I guess I side with the positives that the pitching staff, starters and relievers, are giving this team a chance to win and that’s all you can ask for. I think the offense will turn around even if Clint Barmes never gets a hit.

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