This afternoon’s game between the Pirates and Houston Astros may not have been the most watched game of the season, but it must have been one of the most satisfying for the Bucs’ players. With their 8-1 victory over the Astros in the two teams’ final matchup as N.L. Central foes, the Pirates ended a five game losing, avoided a series sweep, and got themselves back into the win column for the first time since last weekend.
A.J. Burnett pitched eight innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out eleven batters on his way to his 16th win of the season. He is the first Pirates’ pitcher to tally 16 wins in a season since Zane Smith in 1991.
Offensively, the Pirates finally looked comfortable at the plate, tallying 18 hits on the afternoon. Josh Harrison led all players with four hits, while Alex Presley, Andrew McCutchen, Gaby Sanchez, Clint Barmes, and Rod Barajas all added two hits a piece. Jose Tabata led the team with two RBI’s on the day. As for McCutchen, he went 2-5 with an RBI, bumping his average to .336 for the year, a few points ahead of the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey.
This certainly won’t excite many fans of the Pirates, who the majority of which have given up on this team. After the past week of lackluster effort and results from the team, who can blame them? Regardless, it’s still important for this team to finish up strong. The Pirates won for just the fifth time in September today, and are now two games under .500. They travel to New York for a four game series against the struggling Mets, before returning to PNC Park for their final home stand of the season against the Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves. The Bucs have ten more games to, if not for anything else, regain a little respect from their fans who have been watching them all season long.
Record vs. Astros: 12-5
Record vs. N.L. Central: 38-40
Record on the Road: 33-44
Overall Record: 75-77
Let’s Go Bucs!