Monday, August 6, 2012

Pirates Game 108 Recap - Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 0

The Pirates came out tonight and got another outstanding pitching performance, this one from Erik Bedard, and took the first of a four game set with the Diamondbacks. Bedard threw seven scoreless innings in only 84 pitches and faced more than three batters only one time, all night. The only time the Diamondbacks sent more than the minimum to the plate in an inning they only sent four with no damage. Great performance by Bedard.

Andrew McCutchen decided to be awesome and set up the Pirates first run in the third inning when he turned a bloop single into centerfield into a triple. OK, not really a triple but he did end up on third base after a pair of errors by Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young. Young came up short on the blooper and didn't field it cleanly then couldn't find the ball so McCutchen took second and when Young went to get the ball to second base he short hoped it and it got away far enough to get Cutch to third. Fun stuff to watch.

Gaby Sanchez grounded out to score Cutch and that seemed to be all the Pirates were going to get. Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley had a really nice start and while the Pirates collected six hits off of him they couldn't make any of it count after grounding into a couple of double plays.

The Pirates put it out of reach in the eighth with three runs and saved all Pirates fans a potential heart attack that usually comes with close games anymore. Sanchez reached with a single followed by a Neil Walker infield single, Travis Snider single and Rod Barajas sacrifice fly to plate some runs. It was some nice breathing room that the team needed to make sure the score stood.

There has been a good bit of heat on Bedard from a lot of people with the way he has pitched heading into the All-Star break but since they he has pitched pretty well. In those four starts he has given up 19 hits, 12 runs, walked eight and struck out 27. When you factor in that his start against the Cubs he lasted only 4.2 innings, giving up nine runs you can see that he has been pretty darn good in three of his four starts and if he can keep this up and give quality starts it is going to be a huge boost to the staff and the Pirates chances of catching the Reds.

The nice thing tonight was that the middle of the lineup showed up. McCutchen, Sanchez and Walker combined to go 5-for-12 with four runs and a pair batted in. It has been a little hit or miss to string together hits but tonight they were able to do that. Sanchez has had some good at bats recently but hasn't been able to put it together but tonight he came through. McCutchen was McCutchen and Walker had just another solid night. Very good to see.

Good to get that first win of the series and really set the tone. Getting three of four here from the Diamondbacks, a playoff contender, would be a nice start to the 11 game home stand where they will have to also take on the Dodgers. Should be fun going forward.

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