Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pirates Game 32 Recap - Pirates 2, Mariners 1

-While the Penguins laid an absolute egg in New York the Pirates were able to bounce back after back-to-back losses to the Nationals over the weekend. With James McDonald becoming a last minute scratch due to going on the DL it was up to Jeanmar Gomez to get the Pirates a win. No idea how he did it but he gave five great innings of work and if not for Clint Hurdle yanking him entirely too early he could have gone more.

-Make no mistake, I am no fan of Gomez. He isn't very good and proabbly shouldn't be the guy taking the spot in the rotation but he gave the Pirates a really nice effort tonight. Five innings of scoreless ball only giving up two hits and two walks while striking out five. Interesting that he was pulled after five innings because he had only thrown 66 pitches. I assume that is because he is not stretched out but he threw significantly more pitches in his last start about a week ago. No idea why he was taken out but for as much as Hurdle talks about saving bullpen arms this would have been a great opportunity to get an extra inning out of your starter.

-Andrew McCutchen basically was the offense tonight. The Pirates only had five hits as a team and really didn't give Aaron Harang too much trouble outside of the first inning but Cutch was all over the ball tonight. He finished a 4-for-4 night and is now 13-for-28 after getting the day off against the Cardinals on April 28. He is seeing the ball well and hitting to all fields. It is nice to see him start to pick it up after struggling for much of the month of April.

-Starling Marte pretty much created the first run. He led off the game with an infield single where he hit a dribbler down the first base line and was actually able to beat it out. Not really sure he had any business beating it out but that is what he brings to the table. He then scored when Travis Snider doubled to right centerfield and Marte scored all the way from first, standing up.

-The pen did a nice job. Justin Wilson threw a scoreless inning and then Tony Watson came in and got into a little bit of trouble as he gave up a run (inherited runner that Jose Contreras let score) and left a runner on second for Contreras but he was able to get a come-backer to end the inning. Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli were perfect. Not a shocker there.

-Speaking of Grilli, I know that I have made a big deal about what Hurdle said over the weekend about the use of he and Melancon but if you are really concerned about his number of innings thrown then why does he come in with the bases empty and a three run lead against a pretty bad Seattle lineup? You don't need to tell me the answer because I know it is only becuase of some bogus save stat that really means nothing but if it were up to me I would save him for high leverage situations that the Pirates had this past weekend where he wasn't used rather than consistently bring him in when the Pirates are up three runs with only three runs to go. If you need further clarification here it is: saves are stupid and meaningless.

-Pedro Alvarez is in a bad place. I don't think it is very shocking if he has a 0-for-3 night with three strikeouts but Harang has been pretty awful this season and to really dominate Alvarez like he did is pretty concerning. Alvarez is a streaky hitter and I am OK with that but there have been far too many downs and not nearly enough ups. It needs to change.

-Seattle isn't very good. At all. The Pirates had opportunities to put this game away early but couldn't come up with anything but they still go the win. That is all I care about. Tomorrow it is Felix Hernandez against A.J. Burnett. If you even think baseball is OK to watch then this is a must see.

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