I don't know about this Pirates team. They get a pretty bad start from Jeff Locke and outside of one inning the offense struggled a good bit but all it took was one swing of the bat in the bottom of the ninth from a guy that you would least expect to hit a home run, let alone a game-winning one. This team you guys.
Locke wasn't very good tonight, at all. I know I have seen a few say that his outing wasn't that bad because he was able to bounce back after a really tough start but in all reality he was pretty bad for the first three innings and he was only able to get through 5.2 innings so I can't sit here and say he was any good. A big problem this year for Locke has been throwing strikes and tonight he walked three batters and threw only xx of his xxx pitches for strikes and was consistently running three ball counts and unable to get his pitches in the zone for strikes. He gave up nine hits tonight and in his past three starts have given up 27 hits in only 16.1 innings. Granted he hasn't been this bad all year and this is only the second really bad start in a row he has had but he just looks lost and frustrated on the mound. Hopefully he can shake this off and come back better in his next outing.
Despite the bad start by Locke the Pirates were still only down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the third. That is where things took a turn off Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez. After Jordy Mercer singled to leadoff the inning and then Starling Marte bounced into a fielder choice followed by a Neil Walker single to set up runners on first and second with two outs. Andrew McCutchen laced a pitch into the right centerfield gap to score both base runners and then Pedro Alvarez tripled (!!!!) to the same spot to score McCutchen and suddenly it was a square game.
It might have seemed like the Pirates got to Henderson Alvarez after they only had two hits off him the last time they faced him but all he did was retire 13 of the next 14 Pirates hitters he faced. Not good, but at least the Pirates pen was able to keep things at bay with Vin Mazzaro and Tony Watson shutting things down. Mazzaro did have to get out of the jam. That set up for the Pirates in the bottom of the 8th inning when they loaded the bases with no outs but failed to score. Pedro Alvarez struck out looking and Russell Martin grounded into a double play to strand the bases loaded without scoring for what seems like the 100th time this season.
The eighth inning was awesome then horrible. Started off with a rare Starling Marte walk and then Clint Hurdle went all Clint Hurdle on us and had his number two hitter, Walker, bunt. Luckily for the Pirates the terrible play of Chad Qualls negated the slightly less terrible decision to let Walker bunt, but whatever. If you don't have the faith that your number two hitter will do something with the bat then put someone else there. Just stupid. A passed ball and semi intentional walk to McCutchen later and it was all set up. Luckily for the Marlins they went with the left handed specialist to get Pedro Alvarez and then Martin's offensive woes (in this game at least) continued. What a buzz kill.
I was kinda writing this recap as the game was going on and sometimes I do that when I know I won't have a lot of time postgame but when Josh Harrison came up to the dish after Bryan Morris worked a perfect top of the ninth inning I didn't think much of it. The second pitch of the at bats he took a fastball over the plate and put it into the seats in right field. Just unreal. Josh Harrison.
No need to talk about anything else. The Pirates have struggled with the Marlins this year but they were able to pull out a win. All wins count the same. Thanks Josh Harrison!