The Pirates getting a win was really important last night if not only for the fact that they were going to have to face Felix Hernandez today. Sure there was a chance that the Pirates could continue to pound Hernandez after his last start but truth be told he is one of the best starters in the game and no matter how good you are playing you can never feel confident about a win over a pitcher like that.
In my mind, before the game, if the Pirates could keep the game tied until Hernandez was out of the game then they could win the battle of bullpens with the Mariners. Actually they can go up against any team with the pen they have right now, but that was the ideal scenario for me.
The Pirates were able to get six hits off Hernandez and scored a pair of runs on a huge home run off a 3-1 pitch to Neil Walker. That gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead and while Seattle got a pair of runs back when Hernandez left after the seventh inning the game was tie and the Pirates were in good shape.
Fast forward to the top of the ninth inning. Pedro Alvarez, who has been as hot as anyone in baseball, singled to lead off the inning (off a lefty) and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Walker (who was hitting right handed). After a Gaby Sanchez groundout Seattle, for some reason, walked Travis Snider. Jordy Mercer came up and line a pitch right back through the box and Alvarez scored. The Pirates added another run when a strikeout of Starling Marte resulted in a run scoring thanks to a wild pitch. I know, right?
A different guy all the time now. Walker had the big hit to start it and while Pedro didn't go deep he collected a pair of singles. It is actually really good to see that he can pick up those singles and doubles to help win games and we don't have to hope for him to hit a home run to be productive. It is somewhat of an evolution as this month of hotness has gone on but all-in-all a win is a win and I will take it any way I can get it.