The Pirates looked exhausted tonight. Understandably so after yesterday’s 19-inning marathon, followed by a flight to San Diego from St. Louis and a 10:10pm game in San Diego played while dealing with jet lag. The bright spots were stellar major league debuts by both Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson, called up earlier in the day.
Kevin Correia, making a spot start by his own volunteering, gave a decent effort for pitching on no rest. “Mentally I was fine with it, and I was surprised with how good my arm felt,” Correia said after the game. He struggled a little bit in the first, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and an HBP. Three hits in the 2nd inning led to another run, but that was all Correia allowed. “I made a couple bad pitches in the 1st I wish I could get back,” Correia said. “Besides that I really feel like I threw the ball pretty decently. That’s kind of happened my last few starts: I’m keeping the ball on the ground, but it’s not going where I need it to go and that’s out of my hands. If I can get out there and help our team after a 19-inning game, I’ll do it. I wish I could have done a little better.” Correia lasted 4.1 innings, giving up 3 runs, just 2 earned, on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2. “His effort was solid and it gave us a chance to win the game,” Clint Hurdle said. “Unfortunately, for us to win the game tonight, we gotta give up no runs.” Correia left the game with 2 runners on in the 5th, and Tony Watson came in and did what he does best: pitched out of someone else’s jam. Kyle McPherson then made his major league debut by pitching the 6th and 7th innings. He pitched 2 scoreless innings, giving up just 1 hit and striking out 2. Justin Wilson made his major league debut in the 8th and pitched a scoreless inning, giving up 2 hits and striking out 3. “It was good to see both young men involved,” Hurdle said.
The Pirates managed just 1 run tonight. Andrew McCutchen led off the 6th inning with an infield single, then advanced to 2nd on a throwing error by Padres 3rd baseman Chase Headley. A Garrett Jones groundout sent Cutch to 3rd, and a Neil Walker single scored him. The Pirates wasted a few other opportunities. They left Rod Barajas stranded at 3rd after an HBP in the 3rd inning. Rod then batted in the 4th with 2 runners on and hit the ball hard to left – and right at left fielder Padres Carlos Quentin. Cutch left 2 runners on by ending the 7th inning with a strikeout. In the 8th inning, Rod once again came to bat with 2 on and 2 outs, and hit a hard ground ball – right at Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera. Cutch struck out again to end the 9th inning, leaving Jose Tabata standing on 2nd. Tabata was 3 for 5 tonight, and Rod making solid contact was encouraging.
The Pirates lost, 3 to 1. Good news for the Pirates is the Reds and Braves both lost tonight too.
Hopefully the team can rest up tonight and come out ready to support AJ Burnett (15-4, 3.54 ERA) tomorrow. At least he’ll be rested. He’ll face Padres righty Jason Marquis (6-7, 4.08 ERA).
I’m sensing a big game for Rod Barajas.