The Pittsburgh Pirates are 17-17

Pirates Reach 500


Raise it!

Count em up: James McDonald tied his career high in strikeouts.

The Pittsburgh Pirates won another ballgame.  It was a come from behind thriller and it meant a little bit more to some long-suffering Pirate fans.  The Bucs are at the elusive .500 mark  in the month of May.  Yeah, big deal right?  Well, it’s been a while.  Let it soak in.

While everyone is pseudo-celebrating, most know there is still work to do.  But don’t ignore the fact that Pirates’ starters pitched very, very well this weekend. Paulie Maholm, Charlie Morton, and James “Money” McDonald did everything imaginable for the ball club to have a chance to win.

James McDonald took it to another level yesterday. He fired 96 pitches, with 61 of them hitting for strikes. He threw six scoreless innings, allowed just three hits, and matched a career high with 8 strikeouts.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t get him a win.

Chris Resop relieved JMac in the seventh and issued a leadoff bomb, followed by a Bill Hall single and a Quintero double that Andrew McCutchen kicked in left center field while attempting to look hip. Resop was lifted with the score tied at two.

The PNC Park faithful booed lustfully after allowing a home run to Chris Johnson and then not getting an out in the seventh inning.

Joe Beimel came in with the runner on second base. The baseball was bunted at third baseman Brandon Wood who fielded it cleanly, but double clutched on the throw as Steve Pearce was charging and Neil Walker was tardy covering the first base bag. Walker didn’t get the ball in time, and then fired home to Doumit as Quintero never broke his stride. The Astros had grabbed a 3-2 lead.

You might have used that play in high school. It’s effective. Even if the runner is as slow as a box turtle at 6am.  It was a play that deflated the crowd,  and left doubts about the Pirates’ ability to actually get to where they want to be this season.

The Astros got another insurance run (as it was thought at the time) in the eighth off Daniel McCutchen, but the theatrics were yet to come.  The Pirates have come from behind with great propensity early in the 2011 season.

The guy whose Mom lives just down the street would get things started for the Bucs in the eighth inning.

The Mother’s Day Rally would start with another Neil Walker single through the box, then Steve ‘all I do is get on base when I start’ Pearce drew a walk.  Up stepped Ryan Doumit with the best walk up song ever for a Mother’s Day game.  Doumit murdered a fastball from Fernando Abad for his no-doubter three-run homer.  It was fitting that the ball was retrieved by a mother with a baby in her arms.  The PNC Park crowd was whipped into a frenzy.

It was Dewey’s 50th homer as a Pirates catcher, putting him third on the all-time list behind some ass clown named Jason Kendall and the man who is second on the list, Tony Pena who hit 63.

Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan had a 1-2-3 ninth for his tenth save.

It was a great game and Steve Blass said it best on the radio broadcast.

“Welcome to Bipolar Stadium.” Steve Blass

 

Hurdle:

McDonald had good control of his fastball.  He pitched a great game today.  When he came in we didn’t even ask.  More often than not, they will tell you they can go.  The development he has taken, it was a win for him.

We don’t want to swing at anything early.  Man- Dewey, he that thing.  He put a foot down and changed the direction of the game.

Hurdle talked about Doumit in a very positive light—   I talked throughout the winter.  A couple or three times.  We talked through spring training.  I know  I want to play out the best for you.  You can still play.  You can still help us.  That will only help us.  He took that mentality.  He has handled it professionaly.

We are on the road to where we want to go.  Now we need to work on the shelf life. — Clint Hurdle

We would put some more photoshops up, but we have a couch to burn! Party on, bitches.

P.S. Did anyone else get goosebumps today? I did.

The once elusive has been achieved....for today.

Another great shot by AP photographer Gene Puskar

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Tags: Andrew McCutchen James McDonald Pirates Blog Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates Blog Ryan Doumit