Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jeff Karstens had just had his ERA solidified in the top five of National League starters. The right hander’s line was official. Jose Veras had just slammed the door once again.
Karstens went seven strong innings firing 95 pitches and had allowed just one run, another solo homer, as the Pirates would go on to beat the Houston Astros. (Chris Resop turned off the lights with two more strikeouts in the ninth allowing the team to grab sole possesion of second place in the NL Central.)
Karstens even laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to help the strong Pirates offense.
But none of this would happen without Jose Veras.
Karstens had went to the bump in the eighth inning, but after giving up a leadoff single to Angel Sanchez, Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle brought in Tony Watson. Michael Bourn singled and Hurdle wasted no time to go to Veras.
After Veras covered his heart with his hat, apparently asking God to forgive him for what he was about to do to the Astros the huge Pirates reliever went to work.
It was nothing but dominance once again.
The right hander caught Pirates killer Hunter Pence chasing a filthy breaking ball in the PNC Park dirt for a whiff. The two Astros runners were left stranded when Carlos Lee grounded out ever so softly to third baseman Brandon Wood.
Veras had done it once again.
As Veras headed to the dugout, Karstens prepared to congratulate the 6’6″ 240 pounder with an outstretched fist bump.
But Veras needed more….
Veras longed for more…
The Bucs dugout was full of love last night….
Clint Hurdle said it was an absolute blast to manage this Pirates team. And then he dropped another of his one liners that makes Pittsburgh drool.
Nobody in this clubhouse cares who gets the credit.
Garrett Jones had a talk with Alex Presley.
Clint Hurdle spoke with Alex Presley after a hitless night.
Wood looked like he got a new bat, and watch what he did with it.