The Pirates pick up their fourth shutout of the season and used two key hits to score all the runs they needed in the game. While the offense has been really good the last couple months it was the pitching that has picked up the Pirates the last two games. Fun stuff. 54-40 right now. Surreal.
The Pirates got what looked to be the only run of the game in the first inning when Andrew McCutchen knocked in Alex Presley after Presley singled to start the game and stole second base. What was weird about this was that after Presley stole second there was one out with first base open and Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez seemed to be working around McCutchen with a 3-1 count. Then on the next pitch he goes middle-in on Cutch and next think you know there is a liner back through the box and a 1-0 Pirates lead.
Jeff Karstens and the Pirates kept the Marlins off the board and the Pirates offense really couldn't do much against Sanchez so some might have been hoping to get to the seventh inning so the pen could go to work as they have been great all year. That is when in the bottom of the seventh Casey McGehee and Pedro Alvarez essentially put the game out of reach. McGehee started the inning off with a double down the right field line and then Alvarez took a hanging slider into the right field seats.
All-in-all that was about it for the game. The Pitching was good as both teams combined for only 12 hits and it was two bad pitches that did the Marlins in. While the Pirates have been known to slug out some games it was night to get a great outing from Karstens to get the win. You have to be able to win different types of games if you are going to be a true contender.
Karstens started off the game with a 28 pitch first inning where he allowed four Marlins to reach base although they weren't able to plate any runs. After that he just cruised and was able to go seven strong inning only throwing 92 pitches. He scattered five hits and struck out three. He walked to hitters but those were both in the first inning. Karstens has been really good since coming off the DL and while he isn't going to be flashy with great fastballs or a ton of strikeouts he gets the job done and that is all I care about.
Not much else to talk about in the game. The Pirates only managed seven hits with to each coming from McCutchen and Alvarez and struck out 11 times and didn't draw a walk. Yea, that kind of sucks but whatever. A win is a win and
The Reds won again over the Brewers so the Pirates are still a half game back. The good news for the Pirates is of the next ten game they play they will face the Cubs six times and the Astros four times. You can never assume that you will win games but I think you can probably say that expecting a 7-3 mark out of these ten games wouldn't be out of the question.