I know the headline says that the Pirates won 8-4 but the game was much more of a route than that. The Pirates went into Wrigley and started slow but used six runs in the eighth and ninth innings to put away the Cubs and win yet another series and earn their 60th win of the season.
The Cubs got on the board first on Starlin Castro home run off Jeff Karstens but things were all good after that for the Pirates. They didn't do a whole ton through the first seven innings but they did tie the game in the third inning with a Starling Marte home run and then Andrew McCutchen scored when Travis Wood balked with runners on first and third.
The interesting thing about those first three innings because a guy named Sarlin and a guy named Starling both hit home runs. Never happened before but when would that ever happen?
The game was pretty much over in the eighth inning. The Pirates started the inning with seven straight hits. Yes, seven straight hits. The highlight was a three run bomb by Michael McKenry and the final line of Shawn Camp read like this:
0.0 innings, seven hits, five runs (all earned) on 20 pitches.
Joel Hanrahan came in and had a pretty rough time giving up the cycle to the first four batters he faced but came back to record three straight strikeouts. Pretty sure nobody is even going to remember this outing.
Karstens didn't have the best game of the year as he only went five innings and threw 93 pitches. Outside of the Castro home run he only gave up two other hits and walked one while striking out four. He got the win and as everyone will tell you that is the most important stat for a pitcher. +1.
Garrett Jones is pretty hot. He wasn't in teh starting lineup tonight because of having a lefty on the mound but he came in as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and found a hole for a two run RBI single then doubled home a run in the ninth inning. Jones has been swining the bat really well lately and even when he isn't starting he's getting multiple hits.
Pedro Alvarez with two more hits today. Boy, I guess it is good that he went and played winter ball and then opened the year in AAA, right?
McCutchen was 2-for-3 today. Hitting .373/.432/.632 as we start the month of August. He also drew a pair of walks. What can't he do?
Travis Snider and McKenry also had two hits each on the day. That bring the total to five players who had more than one hit. You are going to win a lot of game when you get production through the lineup like the Pirates did today.
Might be one of the biggest series that the Pirates have played in some years starting on Friday as they take on the Reds. Cincinnati faces San Diego both tonight and tomorrow night and are 2.5 games up on the Pirates going in. Huge series.