Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 9/30/14
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The Pirates bounced back nicely from a couple of tough losses with a fairly dominating win on Friday night to even this weekend’s series at one game apiece. The game basically came down to Wandy Rodriguez pitching well, Shaun Marcum pitching poorly, and Garrett Jones having a monster night. The Bucs jumped out to an early lead in a long and crazy top of the second inning. It started with four consecutive hits from Jones, Tabata, McKenry, and Pedro…but Tabata made an out on the bases and John McDonald was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Wandy – who isn’t know for his ability with the bat. He got a run home by grounding in to a force out, though, and Starling Marte beat out an infield hit to bring home a third run. Jordy Mercer then singled to load the bases again for Cutch, but he flew out and missed a chance to break the game wide open. The three runs were plenty for Wandy, though. The lefty had a much better outing than his previous few starts, working through six innings while scattering six hits. One was a solo homer, but other than that he stayed out of trouble. He only struck out two but didn’t walk anyone. Amazingly, this marks the first time all season the Pirates have gotten three consecutive starts of 6 innings or more. Slowly but surely, they appear to be improving on that weakness. Wandy was at 92 pitches through six and probably had another inning in him, but the Bucs were up big at that point so there was no need to stretch him. They were up big because of Jones. After Marte was HBP and Mercer singled in the fifth, Garrett blasted a three run homer to double the Bucs’ run output. It wasn’t initially ruled a homer as Jones raced to third when the ball took a huge bounce back towards center field, but replay showed that it hit above the right field fence before rebounding back in play. (And unlike the the ones in Cleveland the other day, the umps actually were able to recognize that and made the proper call.) The Bucs added an additional run in the ninth, and actually should have had even more, but Cutch hit into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs. Luckily they had a comfortable lead at that point, but the extra run was still much appreciated in the bottom of the ninth. Vin Mazzaro had tossed two clean innings in the seventh and eighth, but Jose Contreras had all kinds of problems in the ninth, allowing a homer, two more hits, and a walk. It got to the point where it was a save situation with the tying run on deck and two outs, and that meant Jason Grilli came in on a night when he looked set to get the game off. He’s pitched two days in a row now, but he finished the job on three pitches, so hopefully that won’t render him unavailable for tomorrow. Notes: Jones’ blast was just the Bucs second three-run homer of the year. (Marte had the other one, in Milwaukee) Garrett must be a big fan of instant replay on home run calls. This was the second time he had one overturned in his favor this year. Cutch had a brutal night, going 0-for-5 with 7 LOB. He also made a poor play in CF during the messy ninth inning, failing to call off his infielders as a pop up to short-center fell in. Travis Snider did not play, despite the fact the Bucs were facing a righty. Russell Martin also sat out, citing additional soreness in his neck. Pirates 7, Mets 3 / Box / 2013 Record: 19-16 / Next: Saturday, vs. Mets, 1:10 Source: FanGraphs
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