Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pirates Game 22 Recap - Pirates 6, Phillies 4

-Just as it was in the Braves series last week the Pirates too three of four from the Phillies thanks to a mix of luck and skill. The Pirates won today by the score of 6-4 and while they seemed to be on the ropes early against Cliff Lee they finally got to him, and the pen, late and banged out 14 hits thanks to the largely homerific scoring of the Phillies official scorer.

-James McDonald wasn't great today but he wasn't horrible either. He only went 5.0+ innings but gave up three runs on five hits. He ran into some problems with three walks but things could have been a lot worse. This isn't an ideal start for McDonald but he was able to keep the game within striking distance and the bats came alive again like it did in games prior.

-Pedro Alvarez had another really solid game where he was putting a sting to the ball nearly every at bat. He had a weak pop out in his final at bat but two of the previous pitches he rocked balls fould down the right field line that were as far as the home run Ryan Howard hit yesterday, which was really far. Even the outs he made were good at bats and this was coming against some left handed pitching, something he has struggled with in the past. I think it is safe to say that he is feeling good about his swing and while his line is only at .188/.263/.362 he has looked really good this entire series.

-Gaby Sanchez had another nice game against a left handed pitcher. Much like Alvarez Garrett Jones struggles against left handed pitching and to have someone like Sanchez that can platoon with Jones at first base is really nice to have. Platooning isn't something you want to have to do but the way the splits work out it has gone pretty well so far. A two hit game for Sanchez that included a home run off Lee in the seventh inning that got the rally started and overall he knocked in three runs on the day. That will do Gaby, that will do.

-Speaking of Jones he got a pinch hit opportunity late with one out and the bases loaded. The score was tied and to be honest I was thinking that Jones was either going to strikeout or ground into an inning ending double play, even if he was facing a righty. All Jones did was lay off some pitches he has been known to chance and got the count to 3-2 and drilled a pitch to the wall in right, plating two runs and continuing the inning.

-Clint Barmes was the only position player that got into the game that didn't register a hit. He started the game so needless to say it wasn't a good day for him. He did get on base once when he was hit by a pitch and actually scored a run but his offense has been brutally bad.

-After the 1-5 start the Pirates are now 13-9 and playing some pretty good baseball. I think they got a little more lucky in this series with the Phillies but all wins count the same in my book. I thought a split would have been nice and again they came in and won a series against Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Halladay. While they didn't beat those guys they got to the pen late and made them pay. Good to see.

-Pirates now get to go to St. Louis to play a three game series with the Cardinals. Keep riding the hot streak.

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