Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pirates Game 39 Recap - Pirates 4, Brewers 3 (12 inn.)

-It took 12 innings and a lot of bullpen work but the Pirates were able to beat the Brewers. No, for real, they won. Andrew McCutchen walked it off with a home run that bounced off the top of the wall and into the stands as the first batter to hit in the bottom of the 12th inning and helped the Pirates complete the Pittsburgh sweep of the day with the Penguins earlier win over Ottawa.

-McCutchen hasn't been getting very many balls to drop the last few days but not because of lack of good at bats. It seemed liked every at bat McCutchen was putting a good swing on the ball and driving it places it just was ending up right at someone or just short of going out of the park. He was walked a few innings earlier after a Jose Tabata double but they weren't going to walk him to leadoff an inning and he made them pay. Finally.

-Jeff Locke was pretty good tonight as he went six innings, gave up three runs, seven hits and struck out six. While Locke has been getting somewhat lucky this season he has turned out to be a really nice option at the backend of the rotation and has been pretty consistent pitching between A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez. He started off the season pretty slow but has really cut back on the walks and got some big strikeouts and looks like he is starting to figure it out. Good to see.

-Tabata has been pretty damn good lately. He went 3-for-5 today which puts him at .294/.351/.456 for the season and in his last ten games he is 13-for-28 with three doubles and two home runs. With Travis Snider cooling off this could be an instance where we could see Tabata seeing more time, even against righties, and as long as he is producing this is a good thing. He seems to be hitting to all fields and found the gaps a few times tonight. After the struggles he has had the past few seasons it is good to see he is bouncing back and putting good at bats together more often than not.

-The Pirats offense did just enough to get it done tonight but they weren't very good. They went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 guys on base. Not good.

-John McDonald came out of the game after he almost had a hit (robbed by Ryan Braun) with tightness in his lower back. You never want to see anyone get hurt but this could be a great way to get him on the DL and not on the Pirates 25 man roster.

-The bullpen was really good tonight. The group of Bryan Morris, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and Vin Mazzaro combined for six shutout innings where they gave up four hits, two walks, and struck out five. Everyone looked really good but the two innings each by both Morris and Mazzaro were huge. Mazzaro looked really good as he threw strikes and got through the top of the 12th against the heart of the Brewers lineup only giving up a hit. Really good to see him step up.

-The series is now split and a win tomorrow to take the series would just be huge. A loss wouldn't be overly terrible but this Brewers team has owned the Pirates since 2007. It would be a great mental boost to know they can beat the Brewers in a series to propel them into a series against the Astros where they should hopefully roll.

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