Pirates McDonald Masterful Against Braves
By Tom Smith
May I Have Your Attention Pittsburgh Pirates Fans:
The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming alive. James McDonald threw seven innings and allowed just five hits as the Pirates earned their sixth shutout of the season with a 5-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. McDonald pitched very well in a high pressure outing. One could only imagine how well McDonald would pitch with a little breathing room.
Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones
had crucial hits when the home team needed them. Even Ronny Cedeno belted a backspin triple to plate Ryan Doumit and Alvarez. It chased Braves ace Tim Hudson mid-inning, yeh this was a special game for the Pirates. The Bucs scored all five runs in the seventh on extra base hits. Like we said, special.
And yes, Neil Walker also hit a double to extend his hitting streak to 14 games that was best described by this tweet from Hammerin Hank. (Tied Johnny Rays record)
Walker is slugging .820 during his hitting streak with a 1.233OPS. Walker is hot. The Pirates are hot. They have won six of the past nine at PNC Park.
The Pirates had some defense tonight behind McDonald and all of it came from the youngsters. Jose Tabata threw out Jayson Heyward at second base thanks to a nice tag (late?) by Walker. Pedro made some nice plays, although his toss to Walker on a critical 5-4-3 double play was slowpitch softball-esque. The outfield also played very well behind J-Mac.
So yes, it is possible. The Pittsburgh Pirates played a stellar game despite showing very little hustle during the first four innings against the Braves stud Tim Hudson. Tomorrow the Bucs can sweep the Braves and perhaps offically be declared spoilers this month.
Someone was pissed after a 43-minute rain delay. His name was Joel Hanrahan. It was filthy.
The Phillies are loving the Pirates tonight.
Can the Pirates go 16-8 to avoid 100 losses?