Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pirates Game 98 Recap - Pirates 5, Rockies 3

The Pirates didn't play good baseball out of the All Star break. Luckily for the Pirates the Rockies are not a very good baseball team and therefore the Pirates earned a three game sweep and have a chance to move within 1.5 games of Milwaukee and St. Louis in the NL Central race.

Jeff Locke wasn't good and he wasn't bad. He gave up a first inning three run bomb to Josh Rutledge and then the very next inning Michael McKenry went deep and it as 3-0. The funny thing was that while it was 3-0 I didn't think for a second that Colorado was going to win the game. It was kinda of what was going on the entire series but you knew the Pirates were going to come back and win and they did.

Locke ended up going six innings, walking two, and giving up seven hits and settled down after the second inning. I think last year's Locke would have just imploded with a series of walks and awful pitches but he seems different this year. Filling up the zone has just done wonders for his game and despite putting a few guys on he still threw 58 pitches for strikes of the 85 he threw.

The Pirates got two of the runs back in the third inning thanks to a Jordy Mercer double and then tied the game in the sixth on a Chris Stewart double (!!!) which was his second extra base hit of the game (!!!).

In the seventh the Rockies decided to pitch to Andrew McCutchen with first base open and a 3-1 count in the seventh inning and that worked about for the Rockies about as well as you thought it would. Later in the inning Neil Walker went deep and that was it.

For the most part this season McCutchen has put the team on his back. This series it really hasn't been that way. Walker and Mercer have been nothing short of outstanding and when you can get Stewart to come in with a couple of extra base hits you don't want to waste that in a loss.

Walker has been a man on fire after the break. In the series he was 7-for-12 with a pair of three hit games and scored five runs. When he is on his hot streaks he can really carry the offense. Usually the hot streaks don't last a very long time but with a big series coming up against the Dodgers it is going to be huge for Walker to be on one of those streaks and help out the offense against a very good Dodgers staff.

Good stuff from Stewart after the game:

Stewart had one extra base hit before coming into today.

Along with 12 hits today the Pirates walked five times. That will win you a lot of games.

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