Pittsburgh Pirate fifth starter candidate Kevin Hart pitched one inning today against the Phillies. It wasn’t the vision pitching coach Joe Kerrigan had going in to the game. Hart was going to pitch two innings or 45 pitches, whatever came first. What came first was neither. For us, the word nightmare immediately came to mind.
Kerrigan knows all about the nightmares. We can’t say if Freddy Kreuger appears in Kerrigan’s dreams, but the first inning struggles certainly remind us of the razor gloved, dream invader in the bad Christmas sweater. Yes, yesterday at the McKechnie opener, the nightmare first inning returned.
Last season, the Pirates staff allowed 768 runs (723 earned), but 106 of those runs came in some nightmarishly Freddy-esque first innings. It never seems to end.
Yesterday, Hart had a visit from Kerrigan before he faced the Phillies cleanup hitter Ryan Howard. Yeh, it was that bad. Hart threw 38 pitches. I heard something like 17 strikes, but that could have been a bad dream. Anyway, Hart was done for the day. Hart gave up four walks, a wild pitch which allowed one of his two earned runs, and remarkably just one hit.
The bullpen piled up four holds with one going to each of the following pitchers, Thomas, D.J. Carrasco (2IP, one hit, two K’s, one BB), Donnelly (no hits, two K’s in one IP), and Taschner (one hit, struckout the side.) Steven Jackson got hit hard in his inning on the bump allowing a walk, a hit, and an earned run. Donnie Veal and Jean Machi each allowed a hit in an inning of work.
Andrew McCutchen tried to top the performance of his mother, Petrina, who sang the national anthem. Cutch went two-for-two with a walk and a run scored. Ryan Church was two-for-three with two RBI including a first inning blast off Phillie starter Joe Blanton. The Bucs hit Blanton hard getting all three of their runs on the afternoon from five hits in the two innings Blanton was on the mound.
Ten offensive strikeouts were recorded by the Pirates including three from Andy LaRoche. The game was called a kiss your sister tie at 3-3 after ten innings were complete.
For those of you lost on Freddy Kreuger. He was the son of one thousand maniacs, the ’star’ of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. If you must, catch yourself up with Freddy below, but also know, like any good 80′s horror movie, Nightmare on Elm Street will be coming back in a remake this summer.
The Pittsburgh Pirates just hope the nightmare would end.