I guess I will just get to the really cool things first. As I said above the Pirates got behind 3-0 after the Cubs scored one in the second and two more in the fourth but that just led to a pretty awesome bottom of the fourth inning by the Pirates. It started with an inside the park home run by Pedro Alvarez. Yea, read that again. What, you don't believe me?
IT REALLY HAPPENED!!!!
OK, so the ball probably went over the fence but nobody stopped the game to check so we are going to pretend like it didn't and mark it down as an inside the park home run.
So that would have been awesome enough Russell Martin went yack to left field. Garrett Jones then went deep to center field. If you are keeping at score at home (no idea why you wouldn't be keeping score at home while reading my recap) that is back-to-back-to back home runs.
Lets to go Twitter to get some information:
Jason Kendall, Brian Giles, and Reggie Sanders the last three Pirates to go back to back to back in 2003. Thanks @ROOTSPORTSPIT.
— Ed Giles (@InClementeWthr) September 14, 2013
That's the ninth time in club history the Pirates have hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. First time at home since 1955
— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) September 14, 2013
Those are some pretty good facts there but that begs the question when was the last time that a team hit three straight home runs in an inning with one of them being an inside the park home run. I have no idea but that must have happened like at least thirty years ag...
Pirates are 1st team w/ 3 straight HR, 1 of which was inside the park, since '99 Phillies (Scott Rolen, Rico Brogna, Ron Gant). @EliasSports
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 14, 2013
Rico Brogna though. Legit.
Anyways, that was a pretty badass way to tie the score. What was even more badass? The Pirates taking the lead on an error by pitcher Brooks Raley on an Alvarez grounder to first to score Andrew McCutchen from second base. Pretty cool.
What wasn't awesome? Anthony Rizzo hitting a ball off Jason Grilli that hasn't landed yet to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead.
Grilli has pitched a few games so far and really doesn't seem ready to be back. His fastball is sitting 90-91 and he is leaving a lot of fastballs up in the zone. Not very good. His slider looks good but when you are leaving your fastball up in the zone in the low 90's then your secondary pitches aren't going to be very good.
Charlie Morton only went five innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking a pair and striking out five. His control wasn't there and he didn't look all that comfortable coming back from last start when he left after two innings with an injured foot. Not really sure what to think but it could have been worse for him. The Cubs were able to get under the ball a little bit and made him pay. I still love Chaz.
Want to know what else is frustrating? Having a guy that is really, really good at hitting left handed pitchers and the manager not using him against left handed pitchers. The Cubs sent a lefty to the mound yesterday and Clint Hurdle decided to start Justin Morneau and sit Gaby Sanchez. If that wasn't frustrating enough Morneau came to hit in the sixth when the Cubs brought a lefty in and rather than use his lefty specialist in Sanchez Hurdle decided to stick with Morneau. The Pirates still came away with the lead after that inning but it just highlights the struggles that Hurdle still has with basic concepts. But never fear because Sanchez was used later as a pinch hitter against a right handed pitcher, because that makes sense.
I am hard on Hurdle a bit more than others and these situations are why. I can admit that Hurdle has become a better manager this year than he was last year but that doesn't mean he is a good manager. He is great in the clubhouse and with the team but he is still pretty bad with his in-game moves. Yesterday and today highlight that.
McCutchen was 2-for-4 and is still really awesome at baseball.
Had to end it on a good note. Reds lost tonight. Cardinals and Mariners are tied in the 10th. Go Seattle.