Xavier Paul proved huge in extra innings tonight.

Karstens Won't Die, Bullpen Solid, Bucs Win Walkoff, Phillies Fans Get Free Pirates Tee Shirts

The Phillies never saw it coming...

Keep trying...keep trying

The Pittsburgh Pirates Jeff Karstens keeps doing what most everyone tells him he shouldn’t be doing. Eating the brains of major league hitters and giving his team an opportunity to win.  Last night Karstens allowed one Phillies run to score.

The Phillies should have read this:

Cole Hammels went eight innings and allowed one hit to match everything that Karstens could do.  The game moved along briskly until Ronny Cedeno had a four pitch walk and came around to score later on a Jose Tabata sacrifice fly.  The lone run allowed by the Chode.

Karstens was once again efficient and worked his way quietly up and down the Phillies offense for seven innings.  A two-out base hit by Chase Utley scored Jimmy Rollins who was thrown out at second base but called safe by the Phillies favorite umpire Angel Satan.  Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan pitched  a scoreless eighth and ninth inning.

The Pirates threatened in the ninth by getting a few more walks, but a key caught stealing by Andrew McCutchen hurt after Neil Walker and pinch hitter Garrett Jones would follow with walks to give the Bucs an opportunity to steal a victory.  But Chris Snyder made certain there would be no ninth inning walk off celebration.

Daniel McCutchen walked the Phillies leadoff hitter in the tenth.  A bunt would move him into scoring position as Daniel Moskos warmed in the bullpen.  Jimmy Rollins stepped in with two hits in three at-bats, a stolen base and the sole Phillies run scored off Karstens.

The Great White Cutch worked Rollins even at 2-2 and Lyle Overbay made up for some early poor fielding by stabbing a certain Rollins double by laying out in foul territory as the athletic McCutchen sprinted over to the bag to grab the second out.  A soft grounder to Walker followed and kept the game tied at one.

Lyle Overbay then stepped to the plate for the Bucs in the bottom of the tenth and promptly worked a leadoff walk.  Pedro Ciriaco made an appearance!  Seriously.  He ran for Overbay as Ronny Cedeno laid down a looping bunt to put Ciriaco in scoring position. 

Xavier Paul moved Ciriaco over to third base with a groundout and a nice swipe tag by Ryan Howard.  Jose Tabata grounded a slow roller to third and for an instant it appeared the Bucs would walk off with an infield hit.  But the gold gloved Phillies third baseman Polanco barehanded the ball and fired to a fully stretched Ryan Howard for the final out of the tenth as Ciriaco raced across home plate.

The Pirates were still stuck at two hits as the game headed to the eleventh.   Utley grounded out to Walker, Howard whiffed on a pitch down and away, and McCutchen continued to cruise getting the final out as we grabbed a beer.

Josh Harrison flied out to left, McCutchen bounced to third and Neil Walker stepped in 0-for-3 with a walk to his credit as Charlie Manuel walked to the mound to warn his rookie reliever Stutes about Walker and the last player on the Pirate bench on deck. 

Walker got nothing to hit and walked.  The Pirates only position player, catcher Dusty Brown, ripped a single through the box putting runners on first and second for Chris Snyder who flew out on a 2-0 count. 

Danny Moskos came in and got two quick groundouts to Walker and a flyout to the ketchup bottle as I grabbed another beer.

It was insane to watch the Pirates bullpen throw four innings without giving up a Phillies hit.  Is that even possible?  It can’t be right? 

Polanco snared a Brandon Wood pea, Cedeno whiffed, and Xavier Paul worked a 2-0 count before slashing a knock that handcuffed Victorino.  On a 1-0 count to Tabata, Paul stole his sixth base easily on a breaking ball that gave Ruiz no chance to get him.  It would be huge.  

Captain Intensity hit a ball hard to the right side……and heh,

at least the thousands of Phillies fans got a free Pirates tee shirt.   Maybe that was a good idea.

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He controlled their barrel throughout the outing.  Slow breaking ball, changeup, ….outstanding effort from Jeff.  Clint Hurdle

….after such a devestating loss yesterday….that’s all I heard in my neighborhood…I said youre right, my guys probably won’t show up.  Clint Hurdle

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Tags: Andrew McCutchen Chris Snyder Garrett Jones Jeff Karstens Neil Walker Pittsburgh Pirates

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