The Pirates salvaged a win in the three games set against the Cubs and won the final game of the series after dropping the first two games to the Cubs. Today it was a 3-2 win with a Garrett Jones two out single that platted the winning run in the sixth inning.
Today was going to be a really tough game looking at the starters with the NL leader in ERA going for the Cubs in Ryan Dempster and the number five starter that has been pitching somewhat over his head for the Pirates in Kevin Correia. Every time that Correia is on the mound I get this uneasy feeling on my stomach but he has been a pleasant surprised as he limited the Cubs to a pair of runs on four hits through six innings on 78 pitches. I still don't think that Correia can keep this up but with the addition of Wandy Rodriguez I think that decision might have already been made.
As I said the Pirates were facing Dempster and he has been outstanding all season but the Pirates just did enough to get to him. Down 1-0 Neil Walker took a Dempster pitch into the right field stands and then in teh fifth inning when the Pirates were down 2-1 Michael McKenry took a 3-2 pitch down the left field line that hit the foul pole to tie it again.
The Piates took the lead for good in the sixth. Alex Presley had a one out single and then Andrew McCutchen laced a two out single back up the middle. Jones then came up and golfed a pitch down the right field line for a double and score Presley and give the Pirates a win.
All in all the series against the Cubs wasn't very good. They were unable to string together many hits and they couldn't score many runs. It is true that the Cubs pitchers did an outstanding job over the three game series but this really highlighted that maybe the Pirates do need that offensive boost. What made this series glaring is that McCutchen really struggled and only had two hits over the three games and really had some terrible looking at bats.
A win is a win though and the Pirates are guaranteed to not lost a game in teh standings tonight and instead of possibly losing three games in the standings they only lose as many as two any maybe only one. The Pirates travel to Houston for the next series and with all the moves the Astros have made they don't have a lot of major league talent on the field and right now their payroll is just above $11M. Really tough times for them not to mention they have lost 21 of their last 22 games before tonight. Yikes.