Originally posted on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 4/21/13
What a homestand! The Pirates were somehow able to patch together a victory on Sunday afternoon, wrapping up an excellent series win over Atlanta. It was certainly a messy game, but that won’t stop any Bucco fan from being thrilled with the outcome. The main reason today’s win was so big was the pitching matchup. It was Jonathan Sanchez (ERA north of 12) against Kris Medlen (arguably the best pitcher on the league’s best team). Sanchez was still bad – he lasted just three innings and needed 74 pitches to get 9 outs – but at least he didn’t immediately put the game out of reach. He gave up two runs in the second inning and worked out of trouble in the other two, but the biggest problem with going just three innings is that it puts stress on the bullpen. Luckily, the ‘pen was up to the task–as it has been so many times this year already. Jeanmar Gomez once again was able to post zeroes without looking impressive (his ERA is somehow 0.96!) and got the Bucs into the 6th. Justin Wilson got out of the sixth with a huge double play, and Jared Hughes worked out of the seventh with a huge strikeout. The offense, meanwhile, was able to get it done as well. The Bucs rebounded for two quick runs in the second inning to pick up Sanchez, as Russell Martin (who has been heating up in a big way) doubled home Pedro Alvarez and Clint Barmes singled Martin in. Then after the bullpen traded zeroes with Medlen for a while, Barmes (who has been just horrible lately) delivered again with a well-placed slow bouncer up the middle to score Neil Walker.  The Bucs would later add a fourth run in the seventh on a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Once again, the bullpen took care of business as soon as it had a lead. Wilson and Hughes combined for a scoreless seventh, Tony Watson tossed a strong eighth (with Mark Melancon unavailable) and Jason Grilli locked down the save in the ninth. I can’t say enough about the bullpen so far – the whole group has been simply phenomenal. They are certainly due for some regression and will need the starters to eat some more innings, but so far things have been very, very good from a group that lots were worried about coming in to the year. Notes: The Braves lost three times to the Pirates. They have two losses to everyone else. The Bucs went 7-2 on the homestand that featured three playoff teams from last season. Martin had a good day at the plate and also threw out two runners. Fantastic game by the Bucco backstop. Pirate pitchers walked 7 and allowed 8 hits but the Braves scored just 2 runs. The Bucs benefited from the two Braves thrown out on base (both strike-em-out/throw-em-out DP’s), another double play, and 10 Braves LOB. The game was briefly delayed in the second inning because the grounds crew messed up the batters box. How does that happen?? SERIES WRAPUP Fantastic series win, obviously. Ever since leaving Los Angeles two weeks ago, the Pirates have been playing really good baseball. I won’t blame you if you don’t want to buy in too much yet after the last two seasons, but this was still an extremely impressive homestand that hopefully showed us a lot about how this club will play going forward.  The biggest thing to me about several of these recent wins is that the Bucs are getting victories despite horrible pitching matchup disadvantages (such as today, yesterday, Locke vs Cueto, Irwin vs Latos, etc.) The weak links of the pitching staff should improve shortly with the return of Liriano, Karstens, and Morton…plus the Bucs can count on solid work from AJ and Wandy. Add that to an offense that has started to click and the strong bullpen, and things are looking very bright all of a sudden. Still, the Bucs can’t afford to let up any time soon. The Phillies are next and they aren’t all that good, but it’s on the road and some more tough teams loom after that. Pirates 4, Braves 2 / Box / 2013 Record: 10-8 / Next: Monday, at Phillies, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker