McDonald Has Best Start Of Season, Pirates Shutout Giants

By Zane Heiple
Photo Credit: Don Wright/AP
After a frustrating 3-2 loss on Tuesday night, the Pirates battled the Giants in game two of this three game series.  Tonight was another closely fought contest, as starting pitchers James McDonald and Madison Bumgarner made it tough for both offenses to get anything going.
Pittsburgh notched a run early tonight during the second inning.  Neil Walker led the inning off with a single and Steve Pearce followed that up with a double.  Chris Snyder brought Walker home with a single to center.
With no outs and two runners on, Bumgarner was able to get three straight outs without allowing the Pirates to score another run.  This is something we, as Bucco fans, have become accustomed to seeing over the years.  What made this tough tonight was that Pedro Alvarez and Brandon Wood were two of the three outs and these are guys we need RBI production from in order to be successful.  But, that type of pitching is why the Giants are the defending World Series champions.
James McDonald definitely had his best game of the year tonight as he shut down San Francisco’s offense over six innings, allowing four hits, while walking four and striking out three.  With McDonald out of the game, manager Clint Hurdle used three relievers over the course of two innings to get to closer Joel Hanrahan.  Mike Crotta and Joe Beimel each got an out in the seventh, while Chris Resop went 1.1 innings, while striking out one batter.
The Buccos added an insurance run in the seventh when Jose Tabata singled home Wood to get them a 2-0 lead.  Hanrahan earned his seventh save of the year after giving up a walk and a hit in his one inning of relief.
It was great to see the Pirates pull off the win tonight after it slipped through their hands on Tuesday.  Coming into this series, we all knew the Buccos’ starting pitching would have to be on top of their game in order to pull out W’s against the Giants’ starters.  The difference between tonight and last night was Pittsburgh’s ability to limit mistakes by the defense.  I feel our Buccos have a very good chance of taking the rubber match of the series tomorrow afternoon, as Jeff Karstens will take on former Bucco Ryan Vogelsong at 12:35. 
Record Vs. Giants: 1-1
Record Vs. N.L. West: 2-4
Record At Home: 4-7
Overall Record: 11-13
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Zane Heiple

Zane is Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands and a weekly contributor for Armchair Report on NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA related topics. He's also the smartest man in the world. Just ask him.

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