Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pirates Game 142 Recap - Pirates 10, Cubs 4

The Pirates are back in the playoff race. After some awful then good then awful then good baseball they are now a half game up on the Brewers and Braves Barves for the second Wild Card and it feels really good. The Pirates did it today with all offense as they pounded out 19 hits and knocked Travis Wood out of the game in the second inning and it was fun. While the offense was cruising Gerrit Cole  was getting the job done. The Cubs have been playing some pretty good baseball recently and a sweep of them is a very, very good thing. Yay winning.

As I said in the intro there were 19 hits. Every starter had at least one, including Brent Morel, and even Cole got into the action with his first career home run. The top seven hitters in the Pirates lineup all had more than one hit with Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Gaby Sanchez all having three hits.

It was early and often for the Pirates. Walker got the scoring started in the first inning with a home run and then the Pirates sent 10 batters to plate in the second inning and had six hits with two outs. Jordy Mercer and McCutchen went back-to-back in the second inning as they scored five runs and knocked Wood out of the game.

The Pirates have struggled with two outs recently and especially with runners in scoring position but they got eight runs knocked in with two outs and went 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The other night I talked about how good the Pirates were and that I wasn't worried about the offense because it has been one of the best in the league this year and it would come around and the last couple of games it has.

For most of the year the Pirates have struggled against left handed pitching but they saw a pair of lefties the past two days and they were all over them. Really good stuff to see.

Cole had a somewhat uneven start. He went 6.0+ innings and struck out eight Cubs but he also gave up nine hits and four runs (three earned). He has some nasty pitches which included a ridiculous two-seamer that he got a strikeout on Javier Baez but he still was a bit hittable today. He went out for the seventh inning already throwing 98 pitches and gave up a single, hit by pitch, single, wild pitch, single before he was taken out. He still seems to fall apart a little in what was his fourth start since coming off the disabled list and I am not sure if it is him still trying to get his stamina back but it would be most beneficial if he could keep it together through seven. Obviously he had a pretty good game today and he didn't need to be great with 10 runs of support but in a low scoring game not giving up those runs in the seventh could be the difference between a win and a loss.

The Pirates are back in it. After long losing streaks and getting swept by the Cardinals they are right in the thick of things. The Giants are still four games up on them for the first Wild Card spot but getting into the playoffs is important and despite all the problems the teams has they are right there. Ride the wave.

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