Monday, June 2, 2014

Pirates Game 56 Recap - Pirates 5, Dodgers 3

In the game of baseball one could say that it is Andrew McCutchen's world and we are all justing living in it. Last night he belted three extra base hits including a home run to right centerfield and the Pirates took the series from the Dodgers. Before the series started I would have been happy with a split but winning three against a pretty good Dodgers team is a nice step after losing a series to the Mets.

Between McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez the Pirates had all the offense they needed. Those two combined to go 5-for-7 with only Josh Harrison having the only other hit in the Pirates lineup (it was a home run). Zack Greinke has been pretty outstanding all season but the Piraets were able to get to him early and then just get enough out of Edison Volquez and the bullpen to win.

Actually Volquez was pretty good. I am not going to lie I was pretty terrified about this game because Volquez really isn't good and Greinke is. What Volquez did was come in and pitch five innings, striking out six, giving up two runs on five hits, and walking only one. His curveball was really good and he neutralized a good Dodgers lineup.

I talked earlier in this series about the Pirates bullpen and I will take the backed they have. They went to it again with Justin Wilson, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon covering an inning each and only allowing one base runner (a walk by Wilson). Jason Grilli got two quick outs before he got into some trouble but overall the pen has been a lot better recently and while the Pirates got some insurance runs they needed to be good again last night.

Bottom line is that the Pirates best player was the best player. I have been struggling for some time to really pinpoint where I think McCutchen ranks among position players in the league. I think I have come to the conclusion that he is a top-five player along with Mike Trout, Yasiel Puig, Miguel Cabrera, and possible Yadier Molina. I think you can interchange a lot of those guys but he is one of the absolute best in the game. Before last season I knew that McCutchen was a really good baseball player but I did't see him becoming the mister of a player he is now. So much fun to watch.

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