Monday, July 28, 2014

Pirates Game 104 Recap - Pirates 7, Rockies 5

The Pirates can be a frustrating team to watch. The first two games of this series were both 8-1 losses and even with the win yesterday you can say that the Pirates haven't yet played a good game against the Rockies this year but somehow are 4-2 against them.

The offense broke out with seven runs and 16 hits but still left 12 guys on base and only went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. They had chances early to put the Rockies away and they couldn't do it. It allowed the Rockies to take the lead in the fourth inning and tie the game in the seventh inning. Luckily for the Pirates Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco went back-to-back in the eighth inning and the Pirates got it done. Salvaged a win in the series and while that is way less than ideal it is better than getting swept by a bad team.

Edison Volquez wasn't overly good. He walked four hitters in only 4.1 innings and gave up six hits. For the most part this year Volquez has really done good job this year of throwing strikes but it really looked like he was overthrowing his pitches yesterday and it caused him to work from behind in the count on a lot of batters. He threw 99 pitches in less than five innings of work and only 56 of those went for strikes. Not good, but it was good enough and in baseball games good enough counts just the same in the win column. Volquez certainly wasn't getting help from Pedro Alvarez's defense but what is new?

All-Star Josh Harrison was the star of the game. He had four hits, drove in a pair, and scored two runs. He also did this for the second time this year. I still don't think Harrison is a viable option as an everyday player but he still is a valuable asset especially with the injury problems the Pirates have had.

You know who hasn't been bad? Travis Snider. I was all for Snider being DFA'd when Polanco came up but instead it was Jose Tabata that got the ax. I thought it was the wrong call but up until this point I have been dead wrong. All Snider has done since June 1 is hitting .333/.385/.533 with three doubles and three home runs. He leads the entire league in pinch hits and has actually been good. Granted those numbers are in only 65 plate appearances but when the Pirates need someone to come off the bench Snider has been as good as anyone else on the team. After how he played the first few months of the year it is really nice to see him coming through even when he isn't getting everyday at bats. It's not easy to come off the bench and hit when you have been sitting all game.

Chris Stewart had three hits and is now hitting .269/.355/.301 and while I don't think he is good that is a pretty decent line for a backup catcher than is going to play once a week. I think the lack of extra base hits is alarming but when you aren't playing a whole ton of games you can get by. If you backup catcher can get a hit or so per game and get on base then you will take it.

The best thing that happened all day was that the Pirates were able to get to the Rockies bullpen by the fifth inning thanks to Franklin Morales throwing nearly 100 pitches (walking five). The Rockies bullpen is really awful and once the Pirates got to it and had it throw more than one or two innings you pretty much knew the Pirates were going to win the game. The Pirates got 10 hits and five runs over the final five innings off the bullpen and thus a win.

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