Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pirates Game 15 Recap - Braves 6, Pirates 4

-This was a pretty good game to watch all together. While it was a little on the long side (3:30) it gave us nice back and forth action for much of the game. While the Pirates took a brief one run lead early in the game it didn't last as the Braves really carried the play and the game probably should have been a little more wide open.

-The Pirates got a little lucky only trailing by two late and really should feel fortunate that they were tied for a large portion of the game. Pirates pitching combined to walk eight Braves hitters including four from starter Jeff Locke and two each from Justin Wilson and Jared Hughes. They did combine for seven strikeouts but just too many free passes to get away with a win.

-Locke wasn't particularly good tonight. Over his big league career he has given up his fair share of home runs and against a really good home run hitting club that wasn't an ideal matchup. He was only able to go 4.2 innings and along with the four walks he gave up six hits and three home runs. Thankfully two of those home runs were solo but really not a good outing from Locke.

-Hughes had a really nice first inning of work but in the eighth inning he was sent back out and that is where the Braves got him. He gave up a free pass and a bunt and then gave up a home run to pinch hitter Evan Gattis which proved to be more than enough for the Braves with how good their pen is. I don't want to say the Pirates had better options in the pen (they did) but at some point you need someone other than Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli to get huge outs late in games.

-The Pirates offense did a relatively good job tonight. They collected seven hits but of those seven hits five of them went for extra bases and two of those were monster home runs. Every time the Braves got the lead the offense was there to answer back and that worked for much of the game but in the end it was too little too late.

-I talked about the home runs that the Pirates got today and man were they bombs. Russell Martin got his first of the year to the notch in left center as it almost went to the second deck and Pedro Alvarez went about 75% up the batters eye in the fourth inning and while it was estimated at around 430 feet I would assume it was a lot farther than that. I talked about those two needing to be better last night and they both were much better tonight. Martin continues to get on base at a good clip and Alvarez put some really nice swings on the ball even if they did result in outs. Hopefully this is the start of something good for both of them.

-Starling Marte had a night to forget. He came in on a ten game hitting streak and he ended tonight with a 0-for-5 performance with five strikeouts. He really looked pretty bad in all five at bats and was swinging at a ton of pitches out of the zone. All things considered you can't be overly worried. He has been so good to start the season that games like this are going to happen, especially for a free swinging hitter like Marte.

-Travis Snider continues to hit the ball really well. He doubled twice tonight and now carries a .313/.400/.457 line. The best part of that is that his plate discipline has been really good and for a team that struggles to get on base he is doing a nice job in the two spot of the lineup.

-Would have been really nice to get a win in game one as a split of this series is really ideal for the Pirates. Winning this game would have meant they would only need one of the next three but now this makes tomorrows game a little more important. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter which games they win but you have to feel like the Pirates let a game slip away. They were right in the game despite some pretty bad pitching and stealing a win would have felt really good.

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