So, that was Wandy Rodriguez. Hmmmm….that performance by the new Pittsburgh Pirates starter against a Houston Astros team that might lose 110 games this season? Didn’t impress me. Hell, it didn’t impress anyone.
But here is the skinny: The big picture success continued with a 4-3 victory over the Astros, who have now lost 12 games in a row for the first time in the history of the Houston Astronauts. Rodriguez walked five, a season high, but wiggled off the hook on numerous occasions; thank God Houston is in full rebuild mode. And thank the big guy for line drive outs speared by Pirates defenders.
Rodriguez allowed three runs on six hits and had five strikeouts. The Astros are in full free-fall mode and have lost 25 of 27 games.
It has to be a tough time for Astros fans. We have all been there. The team seems to have hit the bottom on a rebuilding effort that might take years with the ‘Stros moving to the American League next season. It’s so bad the team has signed the #PearceFactor for Lord’s sake and we’re feeling it for Pearce.
Wandy left after putting down a bunt and it was up to the Pirates bullpen to hold the game, which was tied at three. The Pirates did that effectively. The Disastros did not.
The Astros went to Chuckie Fick, just claimed off waivers Friday. Fick fired a perfect seventh, but in the eighth yielded a leadoff walk to Andrew McCutchen.
Manchild Garrett Jones moved Cutch to third with a single and Houston skipper Brad Mills went to his bullpen. Fernando Rodriguez nearly made magic happen for the ‘Stros skipper. Rodriguez got two quick outs via a popup and a punchout looking.
Thankfully, Rod Barajas came to the rescue. The Pirates catcher ripped a single into left field to plate McCutchen with the go-ahead run. But GFJ was gunned at third to kill the rally.
It was all the Bucs needed once again. Two big players came up big for the Bucs. Brad Lincoln fired a scoreless eighth and Jason Grilli threw a perfect ninth to record his second save.
The Bucs got their offense by crushing bombs off the bats of Alex Presley and Neil Walker. Let’s hope that continues, especially when the Bucs send Rodriguez to the mound down the stretch.