Final: Nationals 7, Pirates 4
Erik Bedard was cruising. It was the 6th inning and he had just struck out Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman to set down 11 straight National hitters. But then former Pirates Adam LaRoche and Xavier Nady hit back-to-back homers to give Washington a 4-1 lead.
Josh Harrison hit a 2-run homer in the 7th to cut the lead to 4-3, but newly promoted Evan Meek quickly gave those back and then some as he loaded the bases in the following inning. Laroche, once again, dealt a blow with a 3-run, bases clearing double to put the Nats up 7-3. The Pirates added one in the 8th, but that would be all they would get.
Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 4 and is now hitting .344/.404/.488 on the year. In his career against the Nationals, he is 36 for 80 (.450) with eight home runs, the most against any team he’s faced.
I’d like to say something about Evan Meek’s inning of relief. He gave up three runs, which essentially cost the Pirates the game, but he looked a lot better than he did just a couple of weeks ago. His average fastball was 94.2 mph and hit as high as 96.3 mph. His average fastball for the season was 92.7 mph going into today. No he just needs to stop walking people.
Josh Harrison was 2 for 3 with his first homer of the season. Clint Barmes was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. I still don’t think it is time to play Harrison over Barmes, but that time is getting closer. I think I’ll actually have a more detailed post about that later this evening or tomorrow morning.
Jared Hughes pitched a scoreless 8th inning of relief and has now pitched eight straight scoreless innings out of the bullpen. His ERA is down to 1.31 over 20 2/3 innings this year.