Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pirates Game 140 Recap - Pirates 5, Cubs 3 (11 inn.)

Weird game. Yesterday this game started at like 2 p.m. and it took almost forever just to get to the seventh inning. Then rain came. Well first rain didn't come and the Cubs coved the field for like an hour. Then rain really did come and the game was suspended. With the score tied 3-3 in the top of the seventh and one out with Jordy Mercer in a 2-0 count the game was called and resumed today.

So today the Pirates and Cubs finished this game today and it went 11 innings but Josh Harrison singled home a run and then Tony Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly and the Pirates held on. They had to have a win and they got the win.

Not only was the timing of the game weird but Clint Hurdle made some really shrewd moves. Hurdle went with Tony Watson for the seventh and eighth innings then turned to Mark Melancon for the ninth and tenth innings. Hurdle has been going with those two guys what seems like a lot recently and while you probably could have done things a little differently it is really good to see him using his best pitchers to give the Pirates the chance to win the game. I am just going to gloss over the point that he pinch hit Brent Morel and his .356 OPS for Clint Barmes after Barmes replaced Jordy Mercer. Barmes is better than Morel. This sucked even more when Harrison rolled his ankle in the ninth. Barf.

John Holdzkom is a pretty cool story. Dude has bounced all around and was a call up a few days ago. Today he earned his first save in only his second appearance. He throws a mid-90s cutter and has struck out five batters in two innings. He's thrown 21.2 innings above AA and that all came this year with Indianapolis. It is only two outings so you really can't take much from this but it is pretty awesome to see someone else be able to get outs from the bullpen.

The bigger news is what happened to Harrison. He caught a flair in left field for the first out of the 11th inning and as he was throwing the ball back into the infield he twisted his ankle. It was the same ankle he twisted a few weeks ago against Detroit and it has been bothering him since so this isn't good. Hopefully it is just something that tweaked and not something that is overly bad but I would doubt we see him in the second game today and that isn't good.

Harrison had four of the Pirates nine hits and carried the offense yesterday. The Pirates faired a good bit better today than yesterday and while they scored a couple of runs in the 11th the offense looked pretty sluggish. Andrew McCutchen looks hurt and everyone else just look meh. I don't know what it is but I don't think it's a huge concern. The Pirates offense has been crazy good this year so to have a down game here and there isn't overly concerning. They went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. Not good.

The tough thing about this second game is that the pen is going to have to step up without the two best arms. I would really doubt we see Watson who threw two innings and 38 pitches while Melancon threw 24 pitches in two innings. Hopefully Francisco Liriano can go nine innings.

Second game of the day start in like six minutes. Fun stuff.

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