The Pittsburgh Pirates showed there would be no hangover from the visit to South Beach. The Bucs jumped on Washington Nationals starter Livian Hernandez in the first inning. Jayson Werth certainly helped the Bucs with some atrocious play in right field.
By the time Ronny Cedeno ripped a single into left field, the Bucs had a 5-0 lead and it was all starter Jeff Karstens would need.
Andrew McCutchen was all over the ball field working two walks, stealing two bases, getting a knock and he scored three runs. It was the fifth time Cutch has had multiple steals in a game, but the first time since last July. Jose Tabata had two rips, stole a base nearly breaking his ankle, and went the other way to the right field wall which was a thing of beauty.
Jeff Karstens. Gets. It. Done. We were a little concernced heading in, but Karstens kept the Nationals off balance. Werth hit a bomb, but the Nats offense appears in a serious funk.
“It all starts with Hanrahan and works it way down. We don’t want to be that person that isn’t pitching well.” Karstens gives a shout out to Hanranator as the leader of the staff
Karstens allowed six hits. Manager Clint Hurdle sent him out for the seventh inning, but the California Kid exited with Nats on the corners and no outs. The right hander gave up two earned runs, struckout three and walked one.
One of the winners of the Opening Day Scavenger Hunt, @topherdaisy, comes through again…
Quotes from Hurdle:
Karstens was up closer to 90, he gave us what we needed tonight, good start for Jeff.
We had some better at bats, situationally we did a nice job.
What’s the best route on the ball that is hit. Working back to make his throw. [Talking about McCutchen's outfield assist]
[Getting a few runs early] Brings some calmness to everybody. Pitcher can pitch to contact, weak contact….mis-hits.
Resop has done a fantastic job. Built up arm strength. He picked it up real quick once season started. He has given up nothing lately. Nobody scratched him. Two strikeouts were fresh.
Bullpen shuts ‘em down:
Chris Resop has a 1.64 ERA in ten appearances this season. He had two huge strikeouts and got a lineout to Pedro Alvarez after inheriting those Nats runners on first and third from Jeff Karstens in the seventh inning.
Joe Beimel pitched a scoreless eighth. He used some soft stuff to get the first out, then retired Rick Ankiel on a groundout without touching 90 on the gun. He walked Werth on four pitches, but Adam LaRoche fell behind 0-1, and then grounded to Neil Walker in short right field.
Evan Meek had a scoreless ninth. But just when it looked like the command would get better and he would have a clean inning, he issued a two out walk to Desmond.
Not a major concern, but a couple of Meeks’ pitches were wild, he hung a breaking ball and his fastball looked dead straight. It didn’t matter though as the light hitting Nats couldn’t figure him out. He caught Morse looking for a strikeout and got Harriston looking to send the patient Pirates faithful home smiling with the Andrew McCutchen figurine under their arm.
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