This was just an absolute terrible game to watch if you are a Pirates fan and outside of Neil Walker this was an ugly, ugly, game that somehow the Pirates were able to pull out and win and pull one game closer to the Reds in the NL Central race.
The Bucs fell behind early 2-0 thanks to Kevin Correia being, well, Kevin Correia. Luckily for KC the Pirates were able to bounce back in their half of the first inning. It all started with two outs on consecutive base hits from Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones and then was followed by a bomb from Neil Walker.
Starling Marte homered for the second straight day in the third inning to give the Pirates a comfortable three run lead but Correia gave up a two spot in the fifth inning which was aided by the first of the Pirates four errors on the night. Yes, four errors.
The Pirates added right back with a Neil Walker bases loaded double with no outs to give you the feeling that the Pirates were going to be able to close this one out. That was further helped by a Jordy Mercer (yes, he is still alive) home run to push the lead to three. It was all good, then it wasn't.
The Pirates committed three errors that counted and a few more that weren't counted (mental errors) in the seventh and eighth inning that luckily only allowed the Diamondbacks to score two runs in those innings combined and the Pirates still had the lead. Joel Hanrahan came in and closed up shop.
I know I said it before but this was an extremely sloppy game for the Pirates. IT wasn't really that bad at the beginning of the game but they gave the Diamondbacks every single opportunity to get back into this game and the DBacks just didn't want to take it. Alvarez has had a really rough past couple of games at the hot corner which sucks because he has been really good there this year but the pen was able to battle through it with big outs from Tony Watson and Chad Qualls. Garrett Jones was tagged for two errors in an inning, one of which really should have been Alvarez's, but he really isn't a first baseman and I think we all know that which is why Clint Hurdle put in Gaby Sanchez in the late innings.
Not that Sanchez was a ton better because in the eighth inning he got a routine ground ball that he got crossed up with Qualls and nobody was at first base in time for an infield hit that resulted in the Diamondbacks sixth run. Just not stuff you want to see out of a team that is running for a division title when the team leading the division already lost.
I guess I am focusing on the negatives a little bit more than usual tonight but just frustrating but then again it is pretty fortunate that they were able to get the win with four errors plus the mental errors. Anyways, a win is a win and you will take them any way you can get them. An ugly win doesn't count any less than a pretty win so whatever.
Walker really had a great night. His swing has been much more consistent the last couple of months than it has been at really any point in his career and it has been helping the team a bunch. Today he drove in five runs tonight and the first inning home run he had to put the Pirates ahead after a really bad top of the first inning. If he can keep this up it just gives the Pirates another really solid at bats to go along with McCutchen and Jones in the middle of the lineup.
Travis Snider just keeps putting the ball in play. Two more hits today and while a lot of people are focusing on the loss of Brad Lincoln not a lot of people are talking about what Snider has been doing. He has been consistently putting the ball in play and now has a .360/.393/.400 line since coming over. Sure the slugging is a little bad but when he is hitting out of the two hole there really isn't much you can complain with at this point.
Correia was alright but wasn't great and that worked alright for the Pirates. While I don't want him in the five man rotation but I think he is going to be OK in the role that he is right now. Getting a spot start here and there wouldn't be terrible and at worst he can mop up for some long relief stuff.
Marte has really been swinging the bat well lately. He is still having some bad at bats but as the games have gone by they are getting fewer and father between and that is great for the Pirates. He went deep again today and it wasn't a towering home run but it was an absolute laser to centerfield that might not have got more than 25 feet of the ground at any point. He still has some trouble with pitch selection but if he can iron that out a little bit he is going to be a dangerous hitter. It is really nice to have an outfield with three hitters that can put the ball in play. So refreshing.
Pirates have a chance to take three of four games from the Diamondbacks. 4:05 p.m. start.