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)