You might have slept through it, but if you did, you missed a historic performance by Francisco Liriano, who once again came up with an incredible effort to halt a mini skid.
Liriano was more dominant than he’s been all season – which is saying quite a bit – and he ended up with more K’s than any Bucco starter since 2004 (Oliver Perez). 2004!! For perspective, opposing starters have struck out 12+ Pirates twenty times since then. On Monday, though, Frankie whiffed thirteen Padres in seven shutout innings and was absolutely filthy all night, getting ridiculous movement and a ton of horrible looking whiffs. He’s been incredible – no other way to put it.
Pedro Alvarez was the other star of the night, although he did have a little help. With Cutch on first in the fourth, Pedro pounded a ground ball through the infield for a base hit. Then Chris Denorfia ran right past it instead of picking it up, and the ball rolled a looooonnng way to the fence as Pedro chugged and chugged and chugged. El Toro showed impressive speed and hustle by completing the trip around the bases for a “homer” (three base error). 2-0.
Alvarez didn’t need to hustle around the bases the next time he came up, because he absolutely demolished a pitch well in to the San Diego night for #31. The Bucs didn’t get any other offense – still a concern, obviously – but they did not need it. Justin Wilson tossed a great eighth and Mark Melancon earned the save in the ninth, although he did allow a couple of hits and a rare run.
Pirates 3, Padres 1 / Box / 2013 Record: 73-51 / Next: Tuesday, at Padres, 10:10