The acquisition of Wandy Rodriguez has us all wondering who will leave the rotation, and Kevin Correia’s name comes up often in those discussions. However, Kevin won his 6th straight decision this afternoon, so it’s hard to make a case for him to leave based solely on performance.
Kevin pitched 6 solid innings today, throwing just 78 pitches. “I think I’ve pitched a little better, but I think it’s just the way the team has been playing,” he said after the game. A 1st-inning homer and a 3rd-inning RBI single, both to Anthony Rizzo, were the only runs he gave up. Kevin walked 2 and gave up just 4 hits while striking out 4. Kevin improved to 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA. “I’m out there to try to get wins,” Kevin said. “At this point in my career, I’m not terribly concerned with my ERA. I want to go out there and I want to win games for the team.” Jared Hughes pitched a perfect 7th inning for his 9th hold, lowering his ERA to 1.90. Jason Grilli pitched a scoreless 8th inning for his 25th hold, lowering his ERA to 1.91. Joel Hanrahan’s perfect 9th gave him his 29th save of the year.
The Pirates offense executed perfectly Clint Hurdle’s strategy of scoring just 1 more run than the other team. Neil Walker hit a solo homer in the 1st inning, Michael McKenry hit a solo homer in the 5th, and Garrett Jones’ go-ahead RBI double in the 6th was then all the Pirates needed to salvage a win from the series against the Cubs and end a 2-game losing streak. The Buccos managed just 5 hits against Ryan Dempster and none against the Cubs’ bullpen, but they made the hits count.
The Pirates improved to 55 and 42, and for now they are 2 games out of 1st place and still lead the wild card race.
The Pirates travel to Houston for a 4-game series against the Astros, starting tomorrow. AJ Burnett (11-3, 3.59 ERA) will take the mound against Dallas Keuchel (1-2, 4.03 ERA).