Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pirates Game 50 Recap - Pirates 5, Brewers 4

-The Pirates came in to the series against Milwaukee this weekend with a 7-46 record against the Brewers in Miller Park since 2007 and in one weekend came away with two wins and a series win for the first time in almost a year at Miller Park as they held on with a 5-4 win. I was at both of the wins and let me tell you it felt really good to go to a game and know the team had a better than average chance of picking up wins. Really awesome stuff after watching almost automatic losses the past few years when I would go to Miller Park. Yes.

-I talked about how the Pirates offense has been struggling a little bit and that it really needed to find some sort of groove to help out the Pirates pitchers and in the two wins that is exactly what happened. On Saturday the Pirates had nine hits and three home runs in a win and today they had ten hits and scored five runs against the Brewers. Wandy Rodriguez didn't have his best stuff and was knocked out after five innings with a high pitch count but the pen and the offense picked him up.

-Pedro Alvarez had a really nice series. Today he smacked a two run double in the third inning to make a 2-0 lead a 4-0 lead, a lead that the Pirates never gave up. Alvarez smacked a pair of home runs on Saturday and today he had the big hit that just nicked the right field line to drive home a couple of runs. He has struggled for much of the season but he has been winning this team some games with his bat and when he is doing that you can't really complain. Well, you could, but I am not going to.

-Jordy Mercer is proving why having John McDonald on the roster instead of him is dumb. He got the start at short and all he did was go 3-for-4 with a run driven in and a triple that he would then score on for the Pirates fifth run that would turn out to be the game winner. I know the Pirates are trying to spin this like he needs to get some every day at bats down in AAA but there are plenty of at bats for him to get if he sticks with the big club. Rich from This is Getting Old was talking after the game about it and what he said is exactly how I feel:

Absolutely agree with everything there. If Clint Hurdle wanted to find Mercer an acceptable amount of at bats he could. I just don't think he wants to. Hopefully Mercer can force his hand.

-I have no idea what the rest of the year holds for Vin Mazzaro but he has been pretty damn good so far this year. He isn't really that great of a pitcher but he has been getting some big outs and filling in nicely for some long relief. After Rodriguez went out of the game Mazzaro was called on to go two innings and all he did was hold the lead and not give up a run. It was a little tense when he came up with Ryan Braun at the plate and runners on first and third with two outs and he got him to ground out to second base. Just a really nice outing by Mazzaro.

-Andrew McCutchen is starting to get hot. He had two more hits today and over his last ten games he is 17-for-42 with seven multi-hit games and only one game where he didn't record a hit. The Pirates have been winning with McCutchen playing just decent baseball and if he gets hot then he can carry this entire team. He doesn't necessarily have to carry the team but having him hitting like this takes the offense to another level. It's fun to watch.

-Mark Melancon gave up his third run of the year in the eighth inning but with a two run lead that was OK. He and Jason Grilli shut it down. Again. Ho hum.

-I think what impressed me most today was the way the Pirates were able to bounce back after the Brewers looked like they were getting momentum. With a 4-0 lead the Pirates were cruising. They knocked out Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo after only four innings and with a below average pen the Pirates could chip away for some more runs. Well Milwaukee made a game of it. Rodriguez had a really tough inning as he loaded the bases for Braun who smoked a double that scored three runs in the fifth inning and things got really tight really fast. The Pirates bounced right back and with the help of Mercer's triple and a sacrifice fly from Starling Marte they got a run back the very next half inning. Any sort of momentum the Brewers had was taken away as the Pirates answered the bell. Sure they didn't get multiple runs but they got something. Previous Pirates teams would have folded and lost and this year there is a significant talent upgrade and they have guys throughout the lineup who can make plays. Bouncing back like that shows a lot about this team and it wins games. It did today.

-It is still way too early in the year to think about anything but the next game but the Pirates are now 12 games over .500 and getting wins in a lot of different ways from different people every night. This is a fun baseball team to watch and this is no longer a team that clubs like the Brewers can just laugh at and roll over. Enjoy watching this people.

-Verlander tomorrow. Buckle up.

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