Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pirates Game 11 Recap - Pirates 3, Reds 1

-I talked yesterday about the Pirates being able to play with house money on the final two games after getting the win last night and when you are playing with house money you have nothing to lose. The Pirates played very dangerously for much of the game but they were able to wiggle out of trouble each and every time and now they have a chance to sweep probably the most talented team in the NL Central.

-Maybe the Pirates aren't as bad as everyone thought/wanted them to be? I know the first week was bad but the offense has really turned it around. Last year it was nearly the whole month of Aril they were bad but this year it seems as if they are hitting their stride (or at least starting to) a little earlier and it has made a huge difference. Starling Marte and Travis Snider are having consistent good at bats and Andrew McCutchen is Andrew McCutchen and when you can get one of the other guys to hit (tonight it was Garrett Jones) this offense can be pretty good. Sure they only had seven hits and scored three runs tonight but that was enough. If Marte and Snider can find some consistency then this offense can really start to win games for this team rather than being a hinderance.

-Jeff Locke really wasn't that good tonight. Locke also earned the win tonight. Like last night when Tony Watson earned a win when he pitched pretty awful Locke got a win when he probably didn't deserve it. You know what, he will take it. When you look at his final line of five innings, four hits, four walks, no strikeouts, and 87 pitches you really wonder how he only gave up one run which was a solo home run. I always say I would rather be lucky than good and tonight Locke was a little more lucky than good. In five of the first six innings the Reds had at least two runners on and only scored one run. A lot of those happened with Locke in the game. No idea how the Pirates won this game but who cares. Locke for President!

-I didn't get to watch the game as I was driving home from work but I was getting inning by inning updates from a friend at the game (shout out to @Christz9) and I think I have a pretty good handle on how the game went. I talked about the luck earlier but it was really key and timely hits from the offense that got things going. After a Zack Cozart home run in the third inning Jones tied the game up with a two out RBI double after McCutchen got walked in the fourth inning. Marte got a two out RBI single the very next inning to give the Pirates the lead. Jose Tabata roped a pinch hit double (also with two outs) to plate the insurance run that they didn't need.

-The Mark Melancon-Jason Grilli combo is really good. Like, really good. Melancon has retired the last 13 batters he has faced and only needed ten pitches for a complete inning of work. Like I said last night he just gets in and gets out. Doesn't worry about strikeouts or stats he just pitches to contact and when hitters do get contact it is weak and easily handled by the infeilders. Grilli had a much easier inning than last night and outside of a walk to Joey Votto he made it look easy.

-Things were going pretty decent for Johnny Cueto but in the fifth inning he had to be yanked from the game with a triceps injury. Not really sure how bad it is but that is never good sign. It was good fortune for the Pirates as Cueto was pitching pretty well and was handling the Pirates for the most part and his replacement came in and immediately gave up the go ahead run. Hope Cueto is alright.

-That is it for me. Phil Irwin is going to make the start tomorrow for the first time in his career. Mat Latos goes for the Reds and if the Pirates are able to get a win and sweep the series that would be uber huge.

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