Final: Tigers 4, Pirates 3
Kevin Correia had somehow made it through six innings with the Bucs leading 2-1 thanks to solo home runs by both Rod Barajas and Neil Walker. But then Clint Hurdle sent Correia out for the 7th inning.
Prince Fielder led off the inning with a “double” to left field that was perfectly placed between Clint Barmes and Nate McLouth. Barmes, then ended up knocking the ball all the way to the fence beyond third base. The next batter singled in Fielder and the Pirates’ lead was squandered.
Tony Watson then got a ground ball for the first out of the inning, but followed that up with a walk. He then got his signals crossed up and threw a fastball when Barajas was clearly not expecting a fastball allowing the runners to advance to 2nd and 3rd. With a drawn in infield, Alex Avila hit a soft grounder just past a diving Clint Barmes and two more runners scored. Had the infield not been in, it would have been about as routine a double play as one could have.
The Pirates threatened in the 8th inning, but Pedro Alvarez struck out with runners on 1st and 2nd to end that rally. They would push across a run in the 9th, but it wasn’t enough.
Max Scherzer struck out 15 Pirates in seven innings. In all, the Pirates struck out 17 times tonight. So to recap the series, there was a 17-strike out game, and there was a no-hitter taken into the 9th inning of another game.
A lot of us like to get on Kevin Correia, but he did pitch well today. However, sending him out to start off that 7th inning was just playing with fire, and ultimately played a part in the Pirates losing this one. A solid six innings from Correia is like finding $100 on the side of the street. Going to Rivers Casino and putting that $100 on red is like sending Correia out for a 7th inning. Just take the money and be happy.
Pedro Alvarez was 0 for 3 today with a walk and three strikeouts and finished the series 0 for 9 with two walks and eight strikeouts. If I had to guess, he will probably get a day off tomorrow against Johan Santana.