Andrew McCutchen brought back Zoltan in a 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the Pittsburgh Pirates lost starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. The southpaw left the game with tightness in his left hamstring. It didn’t look pretty for one of the Buccos hottest starters.
Rodriguez spent several minutes walking around the mound flexing and stretching his left leg. Pirates trainer Ben Potenziano was watching the Bucs left hander, and finally was able to get him off the mound and into the trainer’s room.
After the game, Clint Hurdle joked that Rodriguez did everything but hold a Pilates class on the mound.
It was then up to the Buccos bullpen to get the job done.
Jeanmar Gomez had to battle without his best stuff and allowed the Buccos lead to vanish. Gomez threw 26 pitches (that felt like 46) to get the last two outs of the third inning after Wandy’s departure.
Unfortunately, Paul Goldschmidt‘s sacrifice fly – with a heavy dose of #TNDP – and Alfredo Marte‘s first career hit pushed the Snakes back into a tie. Fortunately, Gomez was bailed out by some impressive work from Justin Wilson later in the game.
Starling Marte kept on hitting, leading off the game with a single and scoring when Cutch ripped a double down the left field line. When Cutch arrived on second base, he flashed the familiar Zoltan Z:
Garret Jones pulled a ground ball to first and McCutchen moved over to third base. Russell Martin walked and took second on a delayed steal. Travis Snider hit the first pitch back up the middle to plate ‘em.
Baseball was officially back, and oh, by the way? the Pirates are now hitting .126 as a team.
In the fifth inning, Marte crushed a ball into the left-field corner and was off to the races. The Bucs swift left-fielder slid head first for a crucial one-out triple because of his hustling immediately out of the box. After dusting himself off, he was chased home by a McCutchen sac fly to give the Bucs a 4-3 lead that the bullpen would never vanquish.
The work from Justin Wilson was impressive–three hitless innings, touching 98 mph in the process. The only thing that screwed up Wilson’s line was when his curveball didn’t break against Pirates killer Gerardo Parra in the seventh inning, but the Bucs lefty was able to erase the error by getting Martin Prado to hit into a double play.
The work from Mark Melancon was equally impressive–two strikeouts in his inning setting up the Bucs new closer.
In the eighth inning GFJ blasted an insurance bomb to give the Bucs the two-run cushion and sending the Buccos fans cannon-balling into the Chase Field pool.
Jason Grilli wrapped it up with his second save of the year.
Rodriguez likely would pitch Saturday against the Reds at PNC Park. A.J. Burnett will be likely to pitch Friday with the Bucs off for the final time in April this Thursday. It would be necessary for the Bucs to adjust the rotation if Wandy can’t go. The team could align the options accordingly at Indianapolis.
Justin Wilson (that won’t happen) would be our first pick, and Kyle McPherson would be our second pick if Wandy can’t answer the bell.
The Bucs struckout seven times against Trevor Cahill.