By Chad Carlson
|Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images|
Well as the old motto suggests, defense wins championships. Actually, a variation that applies to baseball, perhaps more so than anything else, is that pitching wins championships. After all, pitching was the main reason the Pirates occupied first place into mid-July.
Pitching has also been very kind to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In fact, it had them atop the N.L. West division by 5 games entering tonight’s contest against the Pirates at Chase Field. Their top starter, Ian Kennedy, was looking for his 20th victory of the season…and he had the strikeout ball working tonight.
Kennedy struck out 12 Pirates through his eight innings of scoreless baseball. He was nearly flawless tonight, giving up only one hit, which came to Pirates’ starter Jeff Karstens in the third inning. Bucs’ hitters looked baffled all night, but shockingly, they still had a chance to win late in the game.
Karstens pitched a fabulous game tonight for Pittsburgh, giving up one run on five hits through his six innings of work in his final start of the 2011 season. His ERA sits at 3.38.
In three career starts against the Diamondbacks, Karstens has given up just one earned run in 22 innings of work.
Justin Upton proved to be the difference tonight, as he belted a broken-bat 3-0 pitch from Karstens just over Alex Presley’s head in left field to give
a 1-0 lead, which would be the only run scored in the game. Arizona
The Bucs had a chance in the ninth to tie the game. Presley smacked a one-out triple to right center field, but Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen grounded out and struck out to end the game.
This was obviously a very frustrating loss for the Bucs. Karstens pitched a fantastic game tonight, which is very encouraging as the Bucs head into the postseason. The offense’s strikeout woes continued tonight, which is unacceptable. The Pirates managed just two hits all night.
It won’t get much easier for the Pirates tomorrow as Daniel Hudson takes the hill for
against Charlie Morton. Arizona
Record Vs. Diamondbacks: 2-2
Record Vs. N.L. West: 12-19
Record On The Road: 34-42
Overall Record: 68-86
Let’s Go Bucs!