I think I have completely quit on trying to figure out the Pirates. Tonight was one of those games where I would pull my hair out trying to figure something out but at the end of the night I just lean back, opening up to write, and just be happy that they won. That was tonight. Happy they won.
It wasn't easy. For the second time this season the Pirates got to Chris Tillman in the first inning. Last time around he threw 40 pitches in the first inning and this time around he threw nearly as many. I am not sure how many exactly but it was like 35 pitches. The Pirates scored four runs in the first inning and then four more in the second inning. Eight runs for the Pirates in two innings. Tillman was out after only 1+ inning and you might have thought this was a breeze. Oh, no it wasn't.
Wandy Rodriguez was on the bump for the Pirates and after throwing up a goose egg in the top of the first he gave up a six spot in the top of the second inning. It was ugly. Rodriguez actually didn't make it out of the 1.2 innings giving up seven hits and six runs. Thanks to the fact that errors are dumb and stupid Rodriguez was only charged with one earned run. So he gave up six runs (SIX) and his ERA went down.
Anyways, the Pirates offense came to play today and the bullpen also came to play and the Pirates won. After the implosion that is Wandy Rodriguez left the mound the bullpen 7.1 innings and gave up two runs. Sure, Bryan Morris was pretty bad but Vin Mazzaro, Justin Wilson, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon were great. Exactly what the Pirates needed.
Mazzaro was especially good going 3.1 innings of near perfect baseball. He didn't give up a hit and only walked two batters. The bleeding was significant when he came in and he stopped the bleeding and was the best arm out of the pen tonight.
The Pirates have been pretty bad with runners in scoring position but tonight they went 8-for-14 in those situations. They left only six guys on base all game and with as many guys as they got on base, especially early, it is pretty good they drove a lot of those guys in.
The middle of the order was just cash money today. Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, and Ike Davis went a combined 11-for-19 and scored six of those runs. Actually outside of those four only one other player had a hit. That player was Tony Sanchez and that hit was the go ahead single.
A guy that needs to get a little more respect than he has got (especially from me) is Josh Harrison. I have always been a little bullish on Harrison because, well, he isn't that good. That really isn't all that true this year. He has been exactly what the team needs in the leadoff spot and despite not being a good outfielder he has held his own. He actually made a beautifully perfect throw late that cut down what would have been the go ahead run. He didn't have a hit tonight but in his first two at bats he drew walks and scored both times. Props to Jay Hay.
Winning is more fun than losing. Just in case you guys weren't clear on that.