Final: Pirates 5, Phillies 4
Strong pitching and timely hitting once again led the Pirates to a walk off win against the cross-state Phillies. Last night it was Alex Presley getting the job done in the 10th. Today it was Andrew McCutchen.
Philadelphia started the scoring with an RBI double by Hunter Pence in the first inning of starter James McDonald. Pence would also homer in the 4th inning to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. Those would be the only two blemishes for J-Mac, however, as he pitched six strong innings giving up just those two runs.
The Phillies would answer back, though, in the 7th inning, scoring two runs thanks in large part to an error by Neil Walker on a sacrifice bunt by Freddy Galvis. The Pirates didn’t go away, though, and answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning on a Casey McGehee RBI double off the wall in right field and an RBI single by Alex Presley.
McGehee then led off the bottom of the 9th with a double into the North Side Notch. Josh Harrison took over as a pinch-runner and was later hit in by a walk off single off the center field wall from McCutchen [video].
Another big shout out to the Pirates’ bullpen. They pitched nine innings this series without giving up an earned run and have struck out 12 batters. That’s a 0.00 ERA and a 12.0 K/9 ratio for you non mathematicians. Impressive stuff so far.
Pedro is going to homer today, guys.
— Jim Rosati (@northsidenotch) April 8, 2012
I’m going to go off on a little tangent here…But the Phillies lost the last two games of this series by a total of two runs. Jonathan Papelbon, the proud new owner of a four-year, $50 million contract, was used for a total of zero innings. Now, obviously, I am thankful for this, but it just continues to blow my mind how the “save” statistic interferes with a manager’s judgement on a game. Charlie Manuel was guilty of it twice in this series and Clint Hurdle will be guilty of it in the near future I am sure. But if there is a situation in a game where clearly the outcome of the game is going to be decided right then and there, why would you not use your best pitcher? Doesn’t make sense to me.
After looking a little “off” the first two games, Andrew McCutchen had himself an excellent game. He went 3 for 4 with a double, a stolen base, and the walk off single (that would have been a double had it not ended the game). Definitely good to see. When he is not trying to pull the ball every AB, the things he does make me very happy.