Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pirates Game 7 Recap - Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 3

-After scoring only eight runs in the first six games the Pirates offense had a party with FIVE runs last night against the Diamondbacks. While they didn't exactly pile up the hits it is really nice to see the Pirates scoring some runs and giving their pitchers a chance to get the win.

-Speaking of pitchers a pretty bad sign tonight when Wandy Rodriguez had to leave the game after only 2.1 innings with what was being described as some hamstring discomfort. Not a good thing for the Pirates staff as Rodriguez is probably their top pitcher even though he isn't going to wow you with a bunch of strikeouts or a top end fastball. Hopefully he came out of the game just to minimize damage and he can come back sooner rather than later but with hamstrings you really have no idea how they are going to react. Rodriguez has pitched at least 190 innings each of the last four season so this isn't like replacing someone who only throws 120 innings a year. This could be a big problem but hopefully not.

-The pen did a really nice job last night. Jeanmar Gomez was the first in and after a scoreless three innings in his debut in Los Angeles he really couldn't have been much worse last night. He gave up four hits and a walk in 1.2 innings and came about two feet from giving up a grand slam in his first inning of work to Paul Goldschmidt. As you know I am not really high on Gomez as he isn't very good, at all, but at least he didn't put the Pirates behind in the game even though he did give up a two run lead in his short work. After that is was nearly perfect for the Pirates. The trio of Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon, and Jason Grilli pitched five scoreless, hitless, innings where only one base runner was able to get on. Just really outstanding work. Wilson did really nice work and after being converted to a reliever he has done a really nice job so far. He was sitting around 95 and on one of his two strikeouts he went with a high fastball that touched 97. That was some really good stuff from Wilson.

-Fast starts have been a staple for the Pirates the last few games. Last night was no different as Starling Marte singled to open up the game and then was driven in by an Andrew McCutchen double while there were also a couple of walks sprinkled in there with a Travis Snider two RBI hit. I mean this was a full inning of everything the Pirates have been struggling at, they hit, ran the bases, took walks, drove runs in, and it was like they actually have been doing this all year.

-After that first inning though the Pirates only managed two hits. A Starling Marte triple and a Garrett Jones home run were the only other times the Pirates got on the hit column. Luckily enough for the Pirates both of those turn into runs so I guess you can't really complain too much. Marte was brought in on a McCutchen sacrifice fly and McCutchen has started to look really good the last couple of games.

-After pointing out a few games ago Marte was really struggling with his plate discipline and getting the bat on the ball. Since saying that Marte has been a hits machine. Now, that doesn't mean he doesn't have some problems at the plate but I think you can see what he can do if he is getting on base in front of McCutchen and company and the team is infinitely better when he is getting on base. His OBP is highly correlated to his batting average and that isn't ideal but when he is picking up multiple hits a night then you don't really worry about that as much. As long as he is getting on base I don't really care.

-Back at it tonight at 9:40.

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