D McCutchen suprises and Neil Walker does it again, Pirates win 5-2
Daniel McCutchen made his first start last night in a little mover a month. The expectations weren’t so high, let’s just be honest. Since he was moved to the bullpen, the longest outing he has pitched was four innings. And against the Cardinals line-up, well, I was hoping for five decent innings from him.
McCutchen pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and struck out five (which included a strike-out swinging from Albert Pujols) Daniel picked up his second win on the season and the Pirates won 5-2.
“I didn’t feel a whole lot of pressure,” McCutchen said. “I wasn’t thinking about how deep I was going to go in the game. I was just trying to focus on every hitter and every inning at the time.”
“He did a good job,” Cards manager Tony La Russa said. “As I remember, we scratched out a run here and a run there [last time facing him], but he’s an impressive looking young pitcher.”
Yes, you read that correctly. The Pirates took 2-of-3 from the Cardinals. The last time they won a series against St. Louis was May of 2009.
Poor Tony La Russa. The Cardinals are in the pennant race, currently 3.5 games back. They probally thought they would come to Pittsburgh and sweep the Pirates; easy, and make some ground in the NL Central. Woops. Your welcome Reds.
“To go out and to play like we did, and pitch like we did against that lineup, is something that we strive for and what we’re working toward doing on a daily basis,” said Neil Walker, whose handprint was all over this victory. “Obviously, teams like the Cardinals have shown from a professional standpoint that they’re able to do it. To know how we played these last couple days is something that we’re striving for.”
The Pittsburgh Kid, Neil Walker did it once again. Tuesday night he delievered the game winning runs, Wed night was no different. In the third inning, Synder reached base by a hit by pitch. Daniel McCutchen reached on a bunt attempt that Pujols tried to get the Synder at second, but was unsucessful. Andrew McCutchen hit a dribbler twoards the third base line.
The bases were loaded and Walker stepped up to the plate.
“As a competitive baseball player, that’s anybody’s dream to come up with the bases loaded,” he said. “To be able to have the opportunity the last couple of nights, to have some guys in scoring position, has been great. Approach doesn’t change. Just try to put the barrel on the ball.”
Walker didn’t treat Westbrook very kindly. Neil launched the sinker off the wall in center field. If it was elevated by a few feet it would have been a grand slam. Walker settled for a bases clearing triple.
Walker upped his batting average with runners on base to .381.
“You want to be aggressive, you want to be energized, but you want to stay within yourself and let the process of the swing and the at-bat take over,” Russell said, pointing to Walker’s steady approach as the reason behind his success in such critical spots. “Good things happen when you do that.”
Jose Tabata had a bases-loaded hit in the fourth and Garrett Jones’ solo homer in the eighth gave the Pirates the 5-2 Victory.
“He threw a great game,” manager John Russell said. “He was sharp, the ball was down, you have to tip your hat. For him to go out and pitch six innings against that team and shut them down was outstanding. I can’t say enough about what he did.”
“A lot of it goes to (catcher Chris) Snyder,” McCutchen said. “I felt like he had a good game plan and knew what I was capable of doing. He didn’t ask me to do too much but really kept them off-balance with all the pitches early in innings. Going to off-speeds early, I was able to throw for strikes and stay ahead in the count for the most part.”
The Pirates bullpen pitched well again last night too.
Chris Resop pitched 1/3 of an inning. He did give up a solo-Home run to Lopez in the seventh. To be fair, it was a cheap home run as it hit off the foul poul.
Ledezma came in and finished off the seventh, gave up two hits and struck out one.
Evan Meek pitched a perfect eighth inning. He retired the heart of the lineup, including Pujols and Holliday.
“Things seem a lot different now,” reliever Evan Meek said. “This past week, we started having this meeting going over the night before.”
“And guys start talking,” Meek said. ” ‘This guy had a heads-up play doing this.’ Or ‘This guy had a big hit.’ We’re starting to pay attention to what guys are doing. It’s not so much individuals. It’s more of a team.”
Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth inning, although it wasn’t a save oppurtunity. He gave up one run on two hits and the Buccos won 5-2.
News and Notes:
- The Pirates have an off-day on Thursday. They have a three game road series against the Brewers and Cubs before the return back to PNC Park on Septemeber 3rd.
- Altoona Curve’s Broadcaster quit during the middle of the game -Pirates Prospects
- (Via @LangoschMLB) In case you’re curious: No, Pirates D. McCutchen didn’t earn another start w/ his sharp outing Wed; Russell says back to the ‘pen for Cutch.
- Former Bucco, and award winner of FLUKE SEASON, Jose Bautista is talking crap on the Pirates -ESPN
- Like Jason Heyward? Why Not Pedro Alvarez? -Bloomberg Sports
- Ross Ohlendorf was placed on the 15-day DL and Brian Burres was re-called from Triple-A Indy. Burres was called up for the third time this season and will be used primarily out of the Bullpen.
- The Pirates still have not decided on who will start in place of Ohlendorf on Sunday. Charlie Morton or Brad Lincoln are options or the Pirates could use Burres or Gallagher if they are not used much in the pen’.
- 4th round pick Nick Kingham made his pro debut on Wed: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
The Pirates have finalized their deal with Columbian shortstop Dilson Herrera. The 16 year old will get a $220,000 bonus.