Thankfully style points are not included in a win, because this had to be the ugliest win of the Pittsburgh Pirates season. The Buccos battled through four errors and an early two run deficit to take down the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 in front of 25,000 fans at PNC Park.
Kevin Correia got his first start since being sent to the bullpen on July 25, and all he did was collect another win. Correia again didn’t do anything pretty, but he kept his team in the game and handed the bullpen the lead after pitching six innings.
The bullpen was not on its game tonight, but after getting rocked last night, I guess this was a step in the right direction. In reality it wasn’t even all on the pen, as the Pirates defense just could not collect the final out of the inning. The first error came when Garrett Jones missed the catch on a ball thrown by Pedro Alvarez. Then with one out and a run already in, Jordy Mercer pulled Jones off the bag with a slightly high throw, this was followed up by another error by Jones that loaded the bases for Arizona. Thankfully Tony Watson was able to strikeout Chris Young to end the inning.
Young did not like the call, and was tossed by the home plate umpire. His teammate, Justin Upton was ejected by the first base umpire for showing his displeasure with the strike three. This led to a slew of defensive changes that looked like a line change in hockey.
Once the game resumed, the D-Backs closed in on the Buccos lead with a Willie Bloomquist RBI single off of Chad Qualls in the eighth. With all the drama in the bullpen over the past two nights, it was great to see Joel Hanrahan strike out the side in the ninth to earn the Pirates win number sixty-three on the season.
While all this craziness was going on with the bullpen and defense tonight, the offense really came alive during this ball game. The long ball is what keyed our Buccos to victory tonight. Neil Walker started it with a three run homer in the first inning, two innings later Starling Marte hit his fourth home run of the year to right center field. The third and what ended up being the game winning dinger came off the bat of Mercer, who hit his first career homer to left field.
While nothing about this game was text book, it was still a huge win for the Pirates. The W brought them one game closer to the Cincinnati Reds who lost early today and are now only 2 ½ games back in the division. It also gives Pittsburgha chance to win the series tomorrow afternoon with Wandy Rodriguez making his PNC Park debut in a Pirates uniform. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05.
Record vs. Diamondbacks: 4-2
Record vs. N.L. West: 11-10
Record at Home: 35-17
Overall Record: 63-47
Let’s Go Bucs!
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