Andrew McCutchen reminds us of his importance to the offense. He set the tone by walking in his first plate appearance, stealing 2nd, and scoring in the first inning. He ended up hitting a HR, driving in two, scoring four runs, and stealing two bases. Amazing. With the lack of a player who can carry the offense with the long ball, McCutchen is the key. If he can heat up the rest of the way, the Pirates can sniff a winning record.
Yes, that is my focus. Ending the streak.
Jeff Karstens struck out nine, walked none, and cruised through six innings. Daniel McCutchen and Brad Lincoln worried me when each got a walk, but neither allowed a hit and Lincoln struck out two. I was very impressed that Joel Hanrahan came in and showed great concentration with no save on the line. He took care of business with three outs on 10 pitches.
The Bucs were able to win their first series in three weeks and maybe gain a little confidence back before heading to Milwaukee to face our nemesis. The season could end this weekend, but it will provide a great barometer of what this team is made of. We will not dwell on the Pirates record against the Brewers over recent years. I will point out that the team needed this little road trip. They got away from the fan base and their frustration. They got out of the hot weather and into some cooler weather. And now they get a day off with a victory heading into it.
The Buccos need to hope that this dead arm thing that seemed to go through the entire starting staff is over. It only lasted one game for Karstens, and they need it to only last at one game for Paul Maholm with him starting the series on Friday against the Brew Crew. Kevin Correia’s bad game streak is at two, but his last one was not near as bad as the one previous. If either gets rocked early, prepare to see Brad Lincoln get some innings under his belt.