The Pittsburgh Pirates needed a big start from James McDonald. The team would also need to improve over that shoulda been eight error night at PNC Park Friday night. The offense needed to pick up the pace as they find them in a stretch run for a post season spot.
The big start didn’t come from James McDonald. The defense was better. The offense remained punchless and hasn’t hit a homer in five games. Guess these same explanations every night gets old.
The Cubs offense stranded eleven runners in scoring postion. The Bucs offense managed four hits. McDonald was hit aournd early, and would exit after 5.2 innings, three runs allowed and seven hits. The Pirates are now 2-7 in McDonald’s last nine starts.
Jeff Samardzija was tremendous in his final start of the 2012 season. The shark was throwing 96 on the televison radar when we were paying attention (and that was in the ninth.) Of course, the Pirates handed out another first to an opposing pitcher, this time it was the big right hander tossing his first career complete game while throwing 120 pitches.
Andrew McCutchen struck out three times. Cutch doesn’t have a hit in the series. Garrett Jones was hitless against the shark too.
“Heck of a way to go out, to step up and get us back-to-back wins on the road in I don’t know how long is the sign of a No. 1 guy.” Dale Sveum
Just because we love stupid stats, the Cubs have five road wins since the All-Star break and guess what? Four of the Cubs five road victories took place at PNC Park.
Brock Holt lead off with a single and was unfortunatelly moved to second as the Bucs gave away a precious out. Andrew McCutchen was nailed in the ass by Samardzija’s first pitch. Manchild Garrett Jones worked a walk .
#DuskDro Pedro Alvarez lashed an 0-2 fastball to drive in two teammates. JMac wasn’t able to do anything to hold the lead which is the bottom line. But the Pirates managed to do everything possible to allow the Cubs to chip away. Holding runners, throwing out runners, even acknowledging runners that….ahh, never mind–it’s beyond frustrating to watch a team throw out so few base stealers.
JMac allowed so damn many leadoff base runners, it just felt like the whole thing was going to crash any minute.
Errors on the basepath, giving away outs, and some odd defensive plays certainly didn’t help the Pirates right hander. The Bucs tried to rally in the seventh, when Not-so-Hot Rod Barajas turned an infield ground ball into the opportunity to be standing on second base waiting to be driven in for the Bucs.
Pinch-hitter Jeff Clement crushed a Clemente Wall single that drove in Josh Harrison who was pinch running for Barajas. Clement’s knock tied the game at three. (Wonder why Clement didn’t stay in the game after that big hit?)
After entering in the bottom of the eighth, Jason Grilli was busting bats left and right. But the right hander was tagged with the loss after allowing a two-out walk and a broken-bat single from David DeJesus.
Well, that sucked.