Last night the Pirates offense got off to a slow start but after giving up a first inning run to the Marlin the Bucs scored four runs in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to an Ike Davis bases loaded double, a Travis Snider groundout, and a Jordy Mercer two-out single. Those runs were pretty important because the Marlins got a pair back in the top of the second before Jeff Locke shut the door.
Locke was a little shaky despite some nice numbers. He went seven innings giving up six hits, striking out seven, and not walking a single batter. So, you may ask how was he shaky? Well, he was getting away with a lot of pitches in the middle of the plate. I thought the booth did a nice job of talking about it early as they highlighted Locke missing middle-middle a lot and the Marlins just weren't able to capitalize. That isn't really a bad thing and any good starts Locke can give you will take but in the future throwing the ball down the gut isn't a great idea. That being said he was able to battle and get some big outs with a really good change up and some big time breaking balls. The zero walks is a great thing as that is what did Locke in last year in the second half.
The Pirates offense was all there. Everyone had at least one hit except for Gregory Polanco, Michael Martinez, and Snider but Polanco scored a pair of runs and Snider drove one in so really you got something from the entire lineup, well expect Martinez. Great to see when you don't have Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker in there.
The big news tonight was that Mark Melancon was deemed fit to pitch in the ninth inning. The bad news is that the Pirates were up four and there was no need for him to pitch. Tony Watson also pitched, with the Pirates up four. I mean it's not like the Pirates played in a late one-run game last night or anything.
Now Watson pitching wasn't that big of a deal. When he was warming up the Pirates were only up one and once a reliever is hot he probably is going to pitch because those pitches to warm up count too even though you never hear about them. Melancon on the other hand...
Hurdle on using Melancon with 4-run lead in the ninth: "He hadn't pitched in three days."— Nate Barnes (@NateBarnes_) August 7, 2014
Oh. I mean too bad there wasn't a situation last night where the Pirates were up one in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out and could use one of the teams best relievers to get out of it. Too bad that didn't happen where Melancon could pitch.
Hurdle "If we would’ve scored a couple more runs we might've opted in a diff. direction. At 4 right there, I thought [Mark] needed to pitch"— Nate Barnes (@NateBarnes_) August 7, 2014
I am done...for now. The Pirates won and that is all that counts.