I bet that the team is going to be unreal happy to return to Pittsburgh. I mean sure they are join got be happy to see their family and sleep in their own beds but not playing at three of the most homer friendly fields in the league is going to be a huge stress relief for the pitching staff. Consider this:
Wrigley (7th), Miller Park (3rd), and Great American (2nd) were some of the best NL parks for home runs last season.— Ed Giles (@InClementeWthr) April 16, 2014
The Pirates played at all three of those parks on this road trip. True that they are all in the division but playing them all in a row is not going to help. I am not sitting here saying that is why the Pirates had some trouble giving up runs (not today, but at times in general) but it is pretty easy to say that these are three of the more hitter friendly parks in the league.
Really a shame today for Liriano because he pitched a really nice game. It didn't start off all that well as Liriano gave up a run on two walks and two wild pitches in the first inning without giving up a hit. It looked really bad at that point but Liriano got it together and was pretty lights out the rest of the way. He did give up the home run to Votto but until that at bat he gave up only the one run and five other hits. Overall he went seven innings, gave up six hits, three walks, and struck out seven.
The Pirates might have been able to get all over Johnny Cueto in the Wild Card game last season but today he was back to his normal self against the Pirates and didn't allow them much of anything. He gave up only three hits and allowed only five balls to leave the infield while working a complete game shutout. Sometime the other pitcher is better than you and while some might bash the Pirates offense this is a team that put up 13 runs in the previous two games. Cueto was just better today. The Pirates offense wasn't good, by any stretch, but Cueto was really good.
The offense struck out 12 times today, eight times looking. It was really that bad. There isn't much to discuss on this front so I am just going to leave it at that.
More NL Central games on the horizon as the Brewers come to town.