McCutchen and Harrison come alive as Pirates coast to victory on strength of Burnett’s start
Despite some early base-runners, the Pirates could not scratch any runs across until the fourth inning, when Starling Marte was hit by a Sean O’Sullivan pitch and Pedro Alvarez singled. Then, Harrison took a pitch by O’Sullivan that was high in the zone and deposited it into deep left field. Harrison entered the game batting .173, with only six RBI on the season.
Not to be lost in all of the offensive happiness, Burnett threw another gem, carrying five scoreless innings before giving the Philadelphia Phillies some false off on the back of Ben Revere RBI-Double and a Chase Utley groundout RBI. Burnett’s line on the net was an impressive one: 7 IP, 1 ER, striking out five while walking one. Burnett’s ERA now stands at a majestic 1.60
What Stood Out
Each Pirates regular contributed in this game, showing us a glimpse of the kind of offense we can expect to see. While Starling Marte had an 0-for-2 night, he got on base twice. Francisco Cervelli had a much-needed 2-for-3 performance as well. Polanco went 1-for-5 but did have a momentous two-RBI single, a timely hit as the Pirates were clinging to a 3-2 lead at that point. Polanco’s hit opened the floodgates as it was followed shortly thereafter by McCutchen’s homer.
Jung ho Kang went 0-for-4, striking out twice and leaving two on base. His main contribution to the win came from steady defense, as evidenced by this play:
The third game in this four game set will be an interesting one, as both teams will trot out a left-handed pitcher. Cole Hamels (2-3, 3.68 ERA) will continue to showcase his value to other teams as he faces off against Francisco Liriano (1-2, 2.79 ERA). Pirates fans will be keen to watch Liriano closely, as the southpaw has struggled with command in recent starts, with 10 walks in his last three outings.