The Pittsburgh Kid delivers in the seventh, Pirates beat Wainwright and the Cardinals, 4-3
The Pittsburgh Kid, Neil Walker’s seventh inning two RBI single off Adam Wainwright gave the Pirates a 4-3 much needed victory on Tuesday night.
(By the way, you can totally see me in that picture. Just above Walker’s right shoulder, I’m the blonde in the purple shirt)
Ronny Cedeno hit a lead-off double, Jose Tabata with a two out walk (after about a 10 pitch AB) and also stole second base. Walker singled to center, sending Cedeno and Tabata home.
“It was a fastball middle-in and in those type of situations, since being up here sometimes it’s easy to get excited and in the moment, I really tried to make a conscious effort to go in the opposite direction and tried to relax a little bit more and trust my instincts, get ready for a fastball and adjust accordingly,” Walker explained.
“He threw a fastball and I was able to pull my hands in and use that part of the field, and that was important for me, and I was able to find some grass.”
“Wainwright is tough and it’s no secret that’s why he has the numbers he does,” Pirates manager John Russell said. “He’s pitched very well against us and you have to give [Paul] Maholm a lot of credit keeping us in the game and giving us an opportunity to tie it and take the lead.
“Some games this year we haven’t been able to stay close and tonight we did, and if you’re going to beat a guy like that, just like we did Santana the other day, you’ve got to stay with them and get that opportunity and come through, and the guys did a great job tonight.”
Let’s not forget about the great pitching by the Pirates as well. Paul Maholm pitched 6.2 innings giving up two runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out four. After Maholm allowed a two-run homerun to Matt Holiday in the first inning, he settled in and pitched like his normal self (which has been up and down a lot this season). Glad to see a nice outing by Maholm. He did receieve his seventh no-decision of the season.
“Maholm gave us a great start,” Russell said. “Especially after [Monday] with [Ross] Ohlendorf coming out, we needed him to cover some innings and he’s done that a few times this year where we needed a quality start and he gave it to us. The 0-2 home run in the first, I’m sure he’d like to have it back, but he really settled down and didn’t let it get to him, and he really threw a nice game for us.”
Joel Hanrahan came replaced Maholm in the seventh inning and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, striking out one, picking up the win.
Absolutely nothing against Hanny, but I’m glad John Russell gave Evan Meek a save oppurtunity last night. Since Dotel was traded, JR said that he would give them both the oppurtunity to fight for the closer role. (I know there haven’t been many save oppurtunities) but Meek hasn’t gotten the chance, until last night.
Meek gave up four hits and one run and picked up his second save on the season. Evan actually pitched better than his line shows. Randy Winn’s single trickled past Meek’s glove and a throw couldn’t be made, Cedeno miss played a ball hit by Jay and a run scored bringing the game to 4-3. Alvarez also miss played a ball hit by Pujols but the tying run on third did not score. Bases were loaded with just one out. Holliday and and Lopez both popped up to seal the victory.
Talk about intense.
“A good team is going to do that,” Meek said. “They are going to get hits and they are going to drop them in. I was kind of getting frustrated because we were working those lefties in and they weren’t getting barrel on the ball, they were shooting the other way and hit in the perfect spot, but in a situation like that you’ve just got to go one pitch at a time, and just go out there and try to get three outs and it turned out in my favor.”
Russell was happy with the work from his bullpen.
“That was outstanding,” Russell said. “The guys came up big — Hanrahan and Meek. I thought Evan threw the ball well, infield singles, but he kept pounding the strike zone and that was big.”
“It was fun to get the job done and I think some of the guys fed of of that,” Hanrahan stated.
It’s been a rough year for the Pirates, but they have come up big against some of the game’s top pitchers and are hoping that bodes well for the future.
“It would be easy for us to roll over and cruise our way to the end of the season,” Walker said. “On a daily basis we’re making a conscious effort to find that added motivation, and not just when the big pitchers are throwing, and the guys with the good numbers. It’s important for us to keep battling and keep playing hard, because we want to build some momentum going into next year.”
News and Notes:
- Pirates scratch Jeff Karstens (arm fatigue) for Wed game. Daniel McCutchen will start in his spot. Karstens is expected back for his next start.
- (Via @RobBiertempfel) Pirates will call up bullpen help Wed from Triple-A Indy, then bring up starter (prolly Charlie Morton) to pitch Sunday v Brewers
- The DBacks released Ex-Pirate Bobby Crosby on Tuesday. (Crosby was part of the deal along with Carrasco and Church for Synder and Ciarraco) Crosby, 30, hit .220/.294/.298 in 189 plate appearances with the Pirates and D’Backs this year.
- Ross Ohlendorf thinks his season is over. MRI results diagnosed him with a strained lat muscle behind his right shoulder. He added that neither he nor the Pirates are completely ruling out a late return. Watch the video interview here
When asked when he might be able to return: “For next season, for sure, after I build up the arm strength again and everything heals. There could be a start or two at the end, but the most important thing with an injury like this is to be careful.”
There was no ligament damage, no damage to the rotator cuff and no cause for surgery. “I’m very relieved with the diagnosis,” Ohlendorf said. “I hadn’t had anything like that. Didn’t know what to expect. I was afraid it might be worse. To know I’m going to make a full recovery, pretty much without question, is really encouraging.”
- The Pirates now on pace for minus-324 run differential, which would be second-worst in modern NL history (’62 Mets, minus-331).
Jake Westbrook 1-1, 3.60 ERA
Daniel McCutchen 1-5, 6.65 ERA
Westbrook has made four starts since being traded to the Cardinals, going at least six innings in each but has just one win to show for it. His last start against the Giants, went six innings giving up seven hits and three runs, walked two and struck out seven.
McCutchen will start in place of Jeff Karstens who was scratched because of arm fatigue. Since being moved to the bullpen, in nine relief appearences he has a 1.74 ERA with eight strikeouts.Daniel’s last start was on 7/31 against the Cardinals going just 5.2 innings, three runs on six hits, walked six and struck out just one.