Game Recap: Pirates vs. Nationals 5/10/12

Despite some chilly temperatures throughout the game, it was another picture perfect night for baseball in Pittsburgh:

We had a little different view for tonight’s game, but we were just a few sections over from 134. Here’s catcher Michael McKenry warming up:

As well as tonight’s starter, Kevin Correia:

Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg was set to take on the Bucs:

Former Steeler Hines Ward was on hand to throw out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch:

The pitching matchup of Correia vs. Strasburg seemed way lopsided, but the first couple innings said differently.  Correia threw 4 scoreless innings to start, and Strasburg went 3.  The Pirates struck first in the fourth, with Jose Tabata singling up the middle to lead off.  After Alex Presley sacrificed him over to second, Andrew McCutchen singled to right.  Instead of getting the ball into second base, Bryce Harper tried to gun down Tabata at the plate, even though he was safe by a few feet.  Cutch took advantage of the rookie mistake and took and extra base.  Pedro Alvarez struck out swinging for the second out, but Neil Walker picked him up.  He singled to center, scoring Cutch and making it 2-0.

The two pitchers both threw scoreless fifth innings, but Correia ran into some trouble in the sixth.  Roger Bernadina led off with a solo home run into the bullpen.  Correia walked Ryan Zimmerman, and gave up a two run homer to Adam LaRoche to surrender the lead and make it 3-2 Nationals.  Strasburg walked the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom half, but got Garrett Jones to strike out after a few pitches fouled off.  That was the Pirates only real chance to get the lead back, with Strasburg already closing in on 100 pitches and suffering some control issues.

Tony Watson pitched in the eighth, and gave up a two out double to LaRoche.  Watson did a great job to strike out Harper swinging, making sure the deficit stayed at one.  Chris Resop pitched the ninth, and gave up a solo home run to Rick Ankiel, even though it ended up not mattering.  Henry Rodriguez shut down the Pirates in the ninth, even though he did give up a deep fly ball out to Jones.  Pirates lose 4-2, and can’t sweep the series.

Other highlights:
– Jose Tabata continued to hit well at the top of the lineup, picking up 2 more hits.
– Stephen Strasburg had a double of his own, and not to mention struck out 17 Pirates.
– Correia’s final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 K, 2 BB.
– Strasburg’s final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 13 K, 3 BB.,

It was once again Pierogies vs. Presidents at PNC Park tonight. Sauerkraut Saul picked up the win.

Tonight’s Baseball Quiz

Q: In what year did the Pirates pitching staff strike out the most batters in franchise history?

Star of the Game: Stephen Strasburg.  He clearly didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but even a decent night on the mound for him is enough to win a game.  He went 6 solid innings, and was able to prevent the Bucs from scoring when they had the bases loaded.
Goat of the Game: Garrett Jones.  The only real chance the Pirates had to come back was with Jones up with the bases loaded, and he couldn’t come through.  He also flew out when he could have tied the game in the ninth, and struck out 3 times.

Pirates (14-17) – Nationals (19-12)

Win: Strasburg (3-0)
Loss: Correia (1-3)
Save: Rodriguez (7)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

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