Pittsburgh Pirates series takeaways vs. Washington Nationals

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Jul 24, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang (27) singles against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game Two: Jeff Locke (5-6, 4.01 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (10-8, 2.09 ERA)

Result: Pirates win 7-5

Winning Pitcher: Vance Worley (4-5, 3.78 ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Sammy Solis (1-1, 4.97 ERA)

Save: Mark Melancon (31, 1.40 ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Gregory Polanco had a strong game, going 2-4 with a home run, three RBIs, and a run scored. He also had arguably the best at-bat of his career, battling Max Scherzer for 12 pitches before hitting a game-tying two-run home run.
    • Neil Walker followed the Polanco home run with one of his own. He went 2-4 on the day.
    • Pedro Alvarez crushed a two-run home run of his own off of Scherzer, putting the ball into the river in the process.
    • Jaff Decker preceded Polanco’s home run with an outstanding at-bat, battling back from an 0-2 count to draw a lead-off walk.
  • What went wrong:
    • Jeff Locke did not have a very strong start, lasting only five innings, allowing four runs on four hits while striking out five.
    • Ian Desmond welcomed Vance Worley to the game by hitting a game-tying solo home run, his second home run in as many days.
    • Jung Ho Kang grounded into an inning-ending double play.
    • Pedro Florimon committed his first error of the season.

The Pirates appeared to be way more aggressive against Scherzer and it worked extremely well. They guaranteed themselves at least a series split and had the Dark Knight on the mound for game three.

Next: Game Three: A.J. Burnett vs. Gio Gonzalez