Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pirates Game 109 Recap - Diamondbacks 10, Pirates 4

There are many highs and lows in a baseball season and the same can be said about just pretty much everything in life. You know what I am talking about. You go into the gym on a Tuesday just trying to get through a good lift or run and this cute guy/girl comes into the gym that you have never seen. You get excited and start picking up heavier weights that you have no business touching to try to impress him/her and you are on the highest of highs. You then take notice that his/her significant other is walking behind them or that they have a wedding ring on and your hopes are dashed. That is kinda what this Pirates game was like. A little bit of teasing in a back and forth game and then the hammer came down on them in the eighth inning off the team's most reliable guys out of the pen.

This game was the definition of back and forth and the team traded individual runs in each of the first and third inning before the Diamondbacks took their first lead for longer than five minutes with a run in the top of the fourth inning.

The Pirates didn't answer until the seventh inning but they did in a huge way. With the top of the order up Starling Marte took a 3-2 pitch to deeeeeeep centerfield to tie the game up and then was followed up by a Travis Snider single and an Andrew McCutchen double. Things were all good. Garrett Jones was walked and Neil Walker hit a sacrifice fly to give the Bucs a one run lead but couldn't add on as Michael McKenry grounded into an inning ending double play. The GIDP sucked but man how good was it to see the top of the order come up in a huge spot in the game and start the inning with three straight hits. Really great to see.

OK, well this was still good as the Pirates were 53-0 when leading after seven innings and they had Jason Grilli coming into the game. While that is good nearly 95% of the time tonight was one of those 5% of the times as he didn't record an out and gave up four runs. Just really not good stuff. The ninth wasn't much better as Jared Hughes, who is normally very reliable, gave up three runs. Leading the charge for the DBacks was Chris Johnson who homered twice in two innings. Yikes.

Jeff Karstens took the start for the Pirates and got the no decision and really had an average start. He will be credited for the quality start but he threw a very high number of pitches in the first four innings which didn't let him get deeper into the game after he settled in. He did get through six and gave up three runs and eight hits and just wasn't his best. He did work out of some jams early to keep the game close but the bullpen really had one of its worst outings of the year.

The offense wasn't great today but the top of the lineup was. Marte, Snider and McCutchen combined to go 7-for-12 with all four runs scored and three RBI. The rest of the offense only had two hits and once you got past McCutchen you really didn't have that feeling that a lot was going to happen.

Honestly after the Pirates took the lead I thought it was over. Grilli and Joel Hanrahan have been so good this year I really didn't think the Diamonbacks were going to have a chance but truth be told this DBacks offense is really good. They came into the game with one of the better offenses in the league so I guess we shouldn't be surprised that they capitalized and took advantage and beat the Pirates.

The pen has been so good all year that games like this were bound to happen at some point. Grilli especially has been nothing less than outstanding so this really doesn't worry me much at all, just sucks that they were in a position to win and had it slip away from them. Make no mistake though that the Diamondbacks won this game. They had a good approach late and deserved it. Remember this is a team that is still battling for the playoffs like the Pirates are so none of these games will be easy.

Kevin Correia against Ian Kennedy tomorrow.

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