Kevin Correia didn’t get anything in the center of the plate. When he does that, he has been damn tough to hit this season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Correia used the wind blowing in at Wrigley Field and walked away with his seventh win of the season. The Pittsburgh Pirates took the victory over the Cubs thanks in large part to some awful defensive play by the Cubbies.
Andrew McCutchen has been quite good since Clint Hurdle started sending him the steal signs. Cutch always had a green light, but seemed bashful to use it. No longer.
Correia went 7.1 innings and allowed just four hits. He got some big time help from Jose Veras. In the eighth, Veras got out of a jam that he inherited from Correia. He came in with Cubs runners on first and second with one out.
Veras didn’t increase his lead on non-closer strikeout rates (scroll down two articles for that scoop.) He faced Darwin Barney one of the top five toughest to K in the league, but did get him to scatter the seagulls on a popout to McCutchen for the first out of the inning.
When he threw a breaking ball behind Starlin Castro to go 2-0, it got nerve rattling. But Castro chased ball three. However, Veras lost him and Aramis Ramirez came to the plate with the bags full.
Reverend Ray Searage came out to the mound for a quick sermon.
Veras got strike one on a 94 mph heater and then Veras got another popout to send the game to the ninth as Pirates fans let out a huge exhale.
In the bottom of the ninth, Tattoo Joe tried to screw up the joke by allowing two runs.
Joe Beimel walked the leadoff hitter Carlos Pena. Beimels’ 1.37 career ERA against the Cubs took a hit when Alfonso Soriano crushed a pitch into the sparsely filled left field bleachers.
Not to worry.
The Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan brought his breaking stuff to the mound and struckout three straight Cubs to end the game. It wasn’t fair. Hanranator remained perfect in gaining his 14th save in 14 tries.
The joke is on the Cubs. It was comical to watch the Cubs play defense. It reminded us of a team…just can’t remember it now. Doesn’t matter. Let’s just trust the Cubs defense continues to stink, as the Pirates need to make up some serious ground on this road trip.