Ending the first half with a bang (VERY abbreviated recap)

Wish we could write an awesome, long, detailed recap of today’s 13-2 win, but we’re getting ready to shut the blog down for the changes, so this will just be a quick overview of the game.

- Cutch hit two two-run bombs.
- Neil Walker went 5-5 with a solo home run, double, and two RBI.
- A.J. Burnett drove in a run (his first since 2005), helping his own cause.  He went 6.1 innings, giving up 4 hits and just 2 runs, which came on Pablo Sandoval‘s two-run home run.
- Drew Sutton and Clint Barmes also drove in a run each, and Casey McGehee drove in two to go along with three hits.
- The Pirates knocked Tim Lincecum out of the game after just 3.1 innings, and the Giants had to use four relievers.

Pirates (48-37) – Giants (46-40)

Win: Burnett (10-2)
Loss: Lincecum (3-10)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

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K-Mac punches out 10

After a few starts where James McDonald just didn’t have his best stuff, he really bounced back this afternoon with a dominating performance against the Giants.  He struck out ten while not allowing a walk – the first Pirate to do that since Jason Schmidt.

Neil Walker and Michael McKenry doubled in the first and second innings, but couldn’t get driven in.  J-Mac was perfect through 2.1 before giving up a questionable infield hit on a weak groundball that should have been routine for Clint Barmes.

McDonald led off the third with a nice AB, eventually drawing a walk.  Walker drove him in with his second double of the game, but two batters later the rain started to come and there was a 27 minute rain delay.  An inning after resuming play, The Fort went deep off of Ryan Vogelsong to make it 2-0.

“King James” continued to look impressive before giving up two straight singles (with a wild pitch in-between), and giving up a run.  Cutch led off with a line-drive base hit in the sixth, and after two pop-outs, Pedro took a pitch deep to LF off one of those stupid extra pieces of wall, just missing a home run.  He settled for a double as Cutch raced home, making it 3-1.  J-Mac pitched a 1-2-3 seventh; his last inning.

Jason Grilli was absolutely WIRED in the eighth, striking out the side and making the Giants look silly.  Joel Hanrahan came in for the ninth, and the first guy laid down a bunt.  McKenry picked it up and fired a bad throw over the first baseman’s head, and the runner got to second.  No worries, though, as Hammer got the next three batters to get the save.

Pirates (47-37) – Giants (46-39)

Win: McDonald (9-3)
Loss: Vogelsong (7-4)
Save: Hanrahan (23)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

Pirates can’t hang on to beat Giants

If we learned anything from tonight’s game, it’s that not every team is as bad as the Astros and most teams will actually put up a fight.

Three straight singles got the Bucs on the board with a 1-0 lead in the first when Andrew McCutchen drove in Josh Harrison.  Erik Bedard set the Giants down in order in the first three innings, and the Pirates’ lead expanded.  J-Hay drew a rare walk, and scored when Cutch (this guy just can’t be stopped) tripled into the notch.  Neil Walker doubled off the LF wall, and Cutch scored to make it 3-0.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, Bedard completely fell apart in the fourth and his struggles of late continued.  He walked the leadoff man and gave up an RBI-double to Ryan Theriot that put the Giants on the board.  Melky Cabrera, who entered the game tied with Cutch for the league lead in BA, hit a two-run homer to right on a pitch that was about two inches off the ground.  Not sure how he did it, but he somehow made solid contact and tied the game.  Bedard walked Buster Posey and gave up a single, and still didn’t have an out.  Hector Sanchez singled in a run, and another run scored on a sharp groundball that J-Hay couldn’t backhand.  The last batter EB faced was the pitcher, Barry Zito, who laid down a sac-bunt.  Chris Resop came out in relief, and threw one pitch to get out of the inning.

With Rod Barajas on second in the fouth, Harrison singled sharply to left, but there was no way he could score.  Both runners were stranded, and Zito was out of the jam.  Resop was awesome for 2.1 innings, really doing some yeoman’s work to eat up a few innings.  Casey McGehee smacked a solo shot in the fifth to get the Pirates back within a run, and they had a chance to tie it in the sixth.  Gorkys Hernandez reached on an error and swiped second, but no one could get him around.

Juan Cruz gave up a sac-fly in the seventh, making it 6-4 Giants.  After Jared Hughes pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, Pedro Alvarez absolutely mashed a home run to right-center.  The ball was estimated to land between 435-450 feet from home plate, and it was off of lefty specialist (and former Pirates reliever) Javier Lopez.  A full comeback just wasn’t in the script for the Bucs, though, and Sergio Romo shut the door in the ninth.

This was a pretty winnable game, but it just got away.  Time to start a new winning streak tomorrow at 4:05.  The Reds won tonight, so the Pirates’ lead is *down* to one game.

Pirates (46-37) – Giants (46-38)

Win: Zito (7-6)
Loss: Bedard (4-10)
Save: Romo (5)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

Series Preview: Pirates vs. Giants

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants

July 6, 2012 7:05 pm
July 7, 2012 4:05 pm
July 8, 2012 1:35 pm


PNC Park

Probable Pitchers
Erik Bedard (4-9, 4.57 ERA) vs. Barry Zito (6-6, 3.84 ERA)
James McDonald (8-3, 2.45 ERA) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (7-3, 2.26 ERA)
A.J. Burnett (9-2, 3.74 ERA) vs. Tim Lincecum (3-9, 6.08 ERA)

Series Notes
The Giants come to Pittsburgh for the final series before the All-Star Break… San Francisco has a record of 45-38, 1.5 games out of first in the NL West… The Pirates are 46-36 and sit in first place of the NL Central, two games ahead of the second-place Cincinnati Reds… Erik Bedard has been much better at home, posting a 2.31 ERA in seven starts at PNC Park… Bedard is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his last three starts… Barry Zito allowed two runs in seven innings against the Pirates on April 14th… Andrew McCutchen is 4 for 9 (.444) lifetime vs. ZitoJames McDonald is 4-1 with 1.73 ERA at PNC Park this season… McDonald is 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in his last three outings… Ryan Vogelsong has a 3.54 ERA on the road compared to 1.29 at AT&T Park… Vogelsong allowed two runs over 6.1 innings against the Bucs on April 15th… A.J. Burnett‘s eight-game winning streak was snapped on Tuesday but he still hasn’t lost a game since May 2nd… Burnett is 5-2 with a 1.84 ERA in the last ten years vs. San Francisco… Tim Lincecum is 1-5 with an 8.45 ERA on the road this season… Lincecum has faced the Pirates three times over the past three seasons, and is 1-0 with a 1.57 ERA against them… Former Pirate/current Giant Freddy Sanchez underwent surgery on Thursday to partially remove a disk from his back, which means he will miss the rest of this season… The Giants enter the series third in the NL in stolen bases with 38, while the Pirates are second to last with 21… Buster Posey (starter), Pablo Sandoval (starter), Melky Cabrera (starter), and Matt Cain (reserve) will represent San Francisco at the All-Star Game… PNC Park promotions this weekend are as follows: FridayFree Shirt Friday; SaturdayFanJam featuring Daughtry / Scratch ‘n Win; SundayKids Day / Kids Pierogy Inner Tube#PackPNC

Go Bucs

Game Recap: Pirates @ Giants 4/15/12

Today was Jackie Robinson day around the majors, with every player, manager, and coach wearing number 42 to honor the man who broke the color barrier in baseball.  The Bucs looked to salvage the last game of the series and avoid the sweep, sending road-warrior Kevin Correia out to pitch.  Former Pirate Ryan Vogelsong took the mound for the Giants, making his first start of the year.

Both teams went down 1-2-3 in the first, although Andrew McCutchen did get robbed of a possible triple against the wall that probably would have been out at PNC Park.  Garrett Jones led off the second inning with a towering homer that just cleared the right field wall, putting the Bucs up 1-0.  Neil Walker singled to left, giving the Pirates two hits in a row.  After Pedro Alvarez struck out, Clint Barmes singled and Michael McKenry walked to load the bases.  After the infield fly rule was called on a Kevin Correia pop up, Alex Presley beat out an infield single to make it 2-0 Pirates.  Correia set the Giants down 1-2-3 again in the second, and Cutch led off the third with a walk.  He was promptly caught stealing, followed by a Jones strikeout and a Walker groundout to end the inning.

Correia’s perfect game was broken up with a leadoff single in the third, but he got out of the inning with a runner on second.  In the fourth, Alvarez and Barmes both hit the ball right on the nose, but right at Giants fielders.  Correia once again set the Giants down in order in the bottom of the fourth.  In the bottom of the fifth, Brandon Belt led off with a double, followed by back to back ground outs by Brandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss to make it 2-1.  Correia got out of a first and second jam in the sixth after giving up a hit to Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey reaching on a error, keeping the game at 2-1.

Jose Tabata came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh for the second time in the game, and struck out swinging.  For the second time in the game, he left the bases loaded.  Jared Hughes came out for the bottom of the inning, and gave up a one out double to Brandon Crawford. The next batter grounded to the right side, moving Crawford to third with two outs.  Hughes got pinch hitter Aubrey Huff to fly out, ending the threat and keeping the lead.

Cutch and Casey McGehee led off the eight with back to back singles, followed by a Neil Walker bunt that Sandoval threw over the first baseman’s head.  Cutch scored, making it 3-1.  Josh Harrison then pinch hit for Pedro, and the Bucs executed the squeeze play to perfection, putting them up 4-1.  Jason Grilli came in to get the ball to the Hammer in the ninth, and gave up a leadoff triple to Angel Pagan.  He got the next batter to ground out to first, but Pagan didn’t score.  Grilli then walked Sandoval, putting runners on the corner for Buster Posey.  Grilli froze Buster, then got a flyout to end the inning and leave two runners on base.  Joel Hanrahan came on to pitch the ninth and get the save, and gave up a leadoff walk.  After getting a flyout, the runner moved up to second on a ball in the dirt.  It was apparent that Hanrahan didn’t have his best control, as he then walked Emmanuel Burriss to put runners on first and second.  Two flyouts later, the Jolly Roger was raised and the Bucs got their first road win of the year.

Other highlights:
- Kevin Correia’s final stat line was 6IP, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, 2 K.
- The Pirates drew five total walks, and McKenry had three and Cutch and Presley each had one.
- Tabata left a total of six guys on base, and the team left 16 runners on base as a whole.
- The bullpen continued to pitch extremely well, getting scoreless innings from Hughes, Grilli, and Hanrahan.

Star of the Game: Kevin Correia, Jared Hughes, Jason Grilli, and Joel Hanrahan.  The pitching staff was once again dominant, starting with Correia and ending with the bullpen.  The Giants only got one run on five hits, and the bullpen did a great job to get out of a few jams.
Goat of the Game: Jose Tabata.  Not only did he go 0-5, but he left seven runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice.  Even though the Pirates won, Tabata needs to take advantage of RBI opportunities when he gets them.  He is now hitting .133 on the season.

Pirates (3-6) – Giants (4-6)

Win: Correia (1-0)
Loss: Vogelsong (0-1)
Save: Hanrahan (1)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs