Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pirates Game 92 Recap - Pirates 4, Mets 2

The start of this game looked much like the last ten or so games. The Pirates were facing a spot starter that has been a bullpen arm because Matt Harvey was being held out and the offense treated him like he was Cy Young. AJ Burnett threw a lot of pitches and only made it through 5.2 innings but the bullpen picked him up and the offense woke up against Carlos Torres and the Mets bullpen to pick up a series win and a chance to go into the break on a four game winning streak.

Look, I talked about it last night but the offense hasn't been good. Tonight they started out slow as I mentioned above but they ended the game with ten hits and eight of those hits came from the fifth inning on. The Mets got a two runs lead with a run in each the fourth and fifth inning but the Pirates chipped away with a run in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a run scoring single by Jordy Mercer to score Garrett Jones who doubled to leadoff the inning. The Pirates eventually got the bases loaded but couldn't tie the game since Jose Tabata bounced into a double play.

The way the Pirates tied the game was awesome. Only because I pretty much called it before it happened. As Andrew McCutchen stepped to the plate to leadoff the bottom of the sixth inning this is what I said before the first pitch:

What happened like 15 seconds later? Cutch goes yard. I don't want to say I was the reason the Pirates tied the game, but I was probably the reason the Pirates tied the game.

Cutch came through again in the seventh inning when he came up with Travis Snider on second and Jose Tabata on third when he shot a ball past David Wright that scored Snider. Two clutch hits in back-to-back innings for a guy that a lot of people thought was having a down year. Honestly, there are people that aren't happy with McCutchen. While I wouldn't say that he is having a great year I think he is having a really, really good year. I think last year set a bit ridiculous expectations for his year this year but he has been one of the best players in the National League. I think he is flying under the radar and I had some people disagree with me on Twitter about this but his season has been about as solid as you can expect and he has yet to breakout.

After Burnett went out the Pirates pen led by Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon, and Jason Grilli gave up one hit. That's it, one hit. I feel like I need to say that the deal in which the Pirates got Melancon is going to be an unreal steal for the Bucs. Melancon is just plain filthy. His cutter is nearly unhittable and while he has given up a few runs this year I think he has been the best Pirates reliever even when you include Grilli. This guy is an All-Star even if they don't reward middle relievers.

Something I forgot to talk about when I originally posted this was maybe the play of the game. It came in the fifth innings with runners on first and third and a ground ball was hit to Pedro Alvarez and he was able to make a play, while he was playing deep, that gunned down Eric Young Jr. at home. At that time that preserved a one run deficit for the Pirates. While the Mets would go on to score a run later in the inning that play probably limited a lot of further damage and won't be looked back as a turning point but could be looked at as the play of the game. I talked about Alvarez earlier in the day (you should read it) and I talked about Alvarez's improved defense (among other things) and that is a reason why he might be the team MVP this season. The play will look easy in the box score but watching it live that was a hell of a play by Alvarez and should not go unnoticed.

The Pirates have now won three straight games after losing their previous four games. They are back to 20 games over .500. People were worrying that the collapse was already happening during the four game losing streak and I guess what we have learned is that these wins are really hurting the collapse.

Also after the win tonight I saw a bunch of "26 to go" tweets that deals with the number of wins the Pirates need to break the losing seasons record. Can we cut this shit out please? I am not sure about you but why would any fan of any team ever cheer for their favorite club to go only one game over .500? That is beyond ridiculous. I understand what breaking "the streak" would mean for the fans but lets try and be real here, that is not really that important. If the Pirates go 82-80 this year then have eight more losing season was it really that big of a deal? Spare me the streak bullshit and give me the playoffs.

A chance to go into the break 21 games over tomorrow with Gerrit Cole on the bump. Get it.

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