Friday, July 1, 2011

Recap: Duck Tape and Chicken Wire. BUCS WIN.

team-spacer 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 inning-spacer R H E LOB
Pirates 1 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 0 score-spacer 6 9 0 6
Blue Jays 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 score-spacer 2 6 1 5

I still have no idea how the Bucs managed to put up 6 runs with a starting lineup that consisted of 4 minor leaguers and 2 bench players in addition to Andrew McCutchen, Lyle Overbay, and Ronny Cedeno. But they did, and they are, as of now, 2 games over .500 and facing a schedule before the All-Star break that consists of very winnable games in Washington and against the Astros and Cubs. The Pirates won their first road series against an AL team since 2003. They finished interleague play above .500 (8-7) for only the third time since the leagues began playing each other in 1997. But most important of all, the Bucs are 2 games out of first at the end of June for the first time since the Freak Show team of 1997. The traditional "June Swoon" never happened. The Pirates went 16-11 in June, and were 6-1-2 in their series played in June. The pitching has been outstanding, particularly Jeff Karstens, Kevin Correia, and Paul Maholm, and the run support, overall, has been there averaging 4.04 runs per game in June. Still, injuries are bound to catch up with this team eventually, and the pitching will probably not be this good all year, so if the Bucs want to really contend for the division title they will have to get healthy sooner rather than later. We need guys like Alvarez, Tabata, and even Doumit playing their best to help us win when the pitching is struggling. But for now, it's working, and I enjoy every minute of it.

VFPH's 3 Stars of the Game

  1. PIT Jeff Karstens, SP: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR
  2. TOR Yunel Escobar, SS: 3 for 3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HR
  3. PIT Brandon Wood, DH: 1 for 4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR
Play of the Game: Brandon Wood's 2-run homer in the 6th

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