The Pirates just keep playing solid baseball and took advantage of some bad Tigers defense and got a win for A.J. Burnett for the seventh straight start in a 4-1 victory.
Tonight I must admit I was a little sidetracked because of the NHL draft and what happened with Jordan Staal but this was a really good win for the Bucs. Going into the series I thought that if the Pirates could win one of the three games against the Tigers then this would have been a good series and to get a win in the first game really has them playing with house money, in my eyes.
The Pirates came out of the gate fast and scored all four runs in the first two innings. In the first they started off with three straight hits as Alex Presley scored on a Neil Walker single and then Walker came home when Garrett Jones grounded into a double play.
The second inning was, um, interesting. Pedro Alvarez and Rod Barajas occupied first and second base with one and and A.J. Burnett came to the plate. Burnett put down what was a pretty bad bunt but Tigers pitcher Doug Fister picked up the ball and chucked it into left field that scored Alvarez and then left fielder Delmon Young bobbled the ball to let Barajas score to make it 4-0 Pirates.
Let me put this in a better way. Before the bunt was put down Barajas was on first base. The bunt was put down and thrown away and Barajas scored. Let that sink in for adjust a little bit. Barajas scored from first base on a sacrifice bunt. Oh man. If you didn't see the game then you missed him sliding head first into home. It wasn't as much slide as it was a belly flop. It was awesome.
That was pretty much it though. The Pirates had seven hits through four innings but the bats went a little silent as they only had two hits from that point on but it was all enough as Burnett and the Pirates pen was really good.
Burnett had his pitch count run up a good bit and threw 98 pitches in only six innings but he was pretty good. He gave up only two hits and struck out four. He did walk three guys but he really had another gutty win. He has won his last seven starts and he is the first Pirates pitcher to do that since Dock Ellis in 1974. Not too bad for a guy that a lot of people didn't want here, huh?
Andrew McCutchen. This guy. Another three hits tonight and none of the hits were really crushed but they were some really great at bats. The third of his hits he fought off a pitch on his hands and got the barrel on the ball up the middle for a hit and another one he took I believe what was a 0-2 pitch and put it into the outfield for a base hit. This guy just really is on another level and is getting on base at over a .400 clip and has nearly a 1.000 OPS. The scary thing is that I don't even think McCutchen is done developing and there are still parts of his game that he needs to refine. Kid is scary good.
Not much else to say but that this was a good win. Get to face Max Scherzer tomorrow who dominated the Pirates in his last start and then they get to see Justin Verlander on Sunday who nearly no hit the Pirates the last time they played each other so it isn't going to be easy. Another win in this series and you have to consider this a huge success. Bring it.