Right now teams just can't beat the Pirates. They will try, and they might come close, but they just can't do it. There was a 2.5 hour rain delay today in the second inning with the Brewers leading 1-0 on an unearned run by Charlie Morton and while the layoff seemed to hamper the Pirates to some degree they just overcame and tied the game in the eighth and scored the game winning run with their last position player while Tuesday starter Jeff Locke was getting ready to come in for the 14th.
This wasn't about rain or the inability of the Pirates to capitalize when they had chances, this is about a team playing some good baseball and being rewarded for it. While the Brewers owned the Pirates for much of the last five years the Pirates now are 9-4 against the Brewers and have won eight of the last ten match ups. So much for the Brewers owning the Pirates. The Bucs now have won nine straight and with a St. Louis loss today they are two up on the Cardinals and still own the best record in baseball with 51 wins at the halfway point.
Today was all about the bullpen. With the lengthy rain delay that forced Charlie Morton out of the game after only 2.0 innings and 22 pitches it was up to the pen to get the win. Now when they came back to action it was the Pirates pen against the Brewers pen. At that time I would have taken the Pirates in that match up 100 times out of 100 and that proved true today.
Vin Mazzaro continues to pitch outstanding baseball giving Clint Hurdle 5.0 innings after the delay where he threw only 44 pitches and didn't allow a single base runner. Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, Jason Grilli, and Mark Melancon each threw scoreless frames before Tony Watson threw the final three innings of relief. All told the pen threw 12.0 innings and allowed only two hits while striking out seven and not walking a single batter. I mean words can't even explain how massively huge it was for this pen to come through when they were asked to cover a huge chunk of the game and they are the collective MVPs of the game. Bravo.
Interesting about the Brewers is that Martin Maldonado went 3-for-5 and the rest of the Brewers team proceeded to go 1-for-41. Whoa. The Brewers are having a hard time offensively without Ryan Braun and right now they are just struggling massive. The Brewers were not really good today and it seems as if it is going to be an extremely long season for those fans.
I could talk about how the Pirates really wasted opportunities but screw that. This team is just doing everything right at this point and I say it every night but this is fun.