For the first time in the 2012 season the Pittsburgh Pirates can say that they have a winning streak. They did what they have been doing all season and getting a few hits and pitching great and they end up with another one run win over the Marlins. At times it wasn't pretty but at times it was. At times it looked like the flood gates would open for the Marlins but it didn't. Clint Hurdle managed another pretty bad game but the Pirates were just good enough.
This game really started out like every other. The Pirates got a spark in the first inning with an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly. It was actually a really nice inning where the Pirates got only one hit but turned that into a run. Jose Tabata led off the game with a double then moved over on a Neil Walker fly ball then scored on the McCutchen sac fly. That is manufacturing a run.
The Marlins were back on the board with a Hanley Ramirez monster home run on a first pitch fastball in the bottom of the first inning. Rod Barajas came back with another home run to give the Bucs the lead in the second. The Marlins tied the game again with a big two out single by Emilio Bonifacio. The Pirates got the last laugh when Pedro Alvarez doubled home McCutchen in the fifth inning for the final run of the game. Good to see Pedro getting the big hit despite striking out three times in the game. Whatever.
Brad Lincoln was the spot start tonight since Erik Bedard was being bumped back to start on Wednesday and he threw a really nice game. He was able to go five inning and he only gave up a pair of runs and four hits. He only struck out three batters but what he didn't do was get into a bunch of trouble. He only walked one and while he gave up a bunch of fly balls it actually worked to his advantage that they played at Miami because that ballpark is massive. When you have a guy that is a spot starter you hope he can give you five innings and keep it close enough for a win but Lincoln did that and more. While I don't think that he is a starter I think he is a very important part of this staff in his role and he showed that tonight. Big ups.
Barajas hasn't been good this season, at all, but he is starting to heat up some. Along with his home run tonight he led off the seventh inning with a double and went 2-for-3 on the night. Over the last five games he is 6-for-17 with a pair of home runs and two doubles. While that is an extremly small sample size and you can't really take a ton from that it sure is nice to have him string some good at bats together. It really made all the difference in the game to have someone in the bottom three that could make a difference.
I have said it about a million times already but the bullpen has been outstanding. They were outstanding tonight. Jarred Hughes pitched a scoreless seventh and then Jason Grilli came in and just slammed the door shut when it looked like the Marlins were going to tie the game up. With one out the Marlins got runners on first and third and then Grilli proceeded to strike out Logan Morrison and got Giancarlo Stanton to pop out. Grilli is averaging like 16 K/9 which is unreal. Joel Hanrahan looked pretty good in picking up his seventh save.
Clint Hurdle once again makes his presents felt. Just some really head scratching stuff that ran the Pirates out of two innings. If you want the breakdown of what happened go over to WHYGAVS and read it from Pat.
Not really going to get into that much more. The Pirates got a win and they are hanging around now only three games back after the Cardinals lost to the Cubs. Really crazy how close the Pirates are despite some of the things that have been happening this year.