It was a great night for a game at PNC Park. We had tickets for the PBC level, so we got an absolutely amazing view of the game. It was a pretty entertaining pitchers’ duel, although the Bucs fell short.
Erik Bedard walked the leadoff man in the first and needed 19 pitches to finish the inning, but recovered from some early control issues. In the fourth, he walked Starlin Castro to start the inning, and as everyone knows, leadoff walks will kill you. Lo and behold, Alfonso Soriano doubled in the right-center gap to make it 1-0. Bedard only gave up one more hit, and was pretty dominant all night. He struck out 11 Cubs, and really had the curveball working. He walked off the mound after going seven innings to a nice ovation from the large crowd. Hopefully this is the beginning of a resurgent second-half for Bedard.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, Jeff Samardzija was nearly perfect for eight innings. The only person to reach base against him was Cutch, who walked in the first and singled in the fourth. The single was ruled a hit, although it really should have been an out. Cutch hit a weak groundball to first, but Samardzija just completely forgot to cover the base. McCutchen got caught stealing a batter later anyway, so it didn’t matter. The former Notre Dame receiver struck out five Bucs, and they just couldn’t get anything going against him.
Chris Resop pitched an impressive 1-2-3 eighth, but gave up a leadoff single in the ninth. Tony Watson came in to face the lefty, and he struck him out. Soriano followed with his second RBI-double of the game, in the exact same spot as the first. That’s when things started to get ugly. Watson tried to pick the pinch-runner off of second, but threw the ball into CF. He did get the second out, and was replaced by Evan Meek. He walked the first two batters he faced, but eventually got the last out as the stupid wave went around the stadium.
Up 2-0, Carlos Marmol came out of the pen to close out the game for Chicago. Josh Harrison led off, and shot a ball down the LF line…just foul. He reached on an infield single the next pitch, but it really should have been an error. A bobble and errant throw allowed him to reach safely, and the Bucs were in business. But Marmol, who has some nasty stuff, set the next three batters down to get the save.
Despite getting shut-out, this loss doesn’t feel like a huge deal. Bedard deserved a win, but Samardzija deserved it even more. Oh well, get ’em tomorrow.
Pirates (54-41) – Cubs (39-56)
Win: Samardzija (7-8)
Loss: Bedard (5-11)
Save: Marmol (12)