The Pirates struck early tonight, Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones each homered, and the pitching was just good enough to give Wandy Rodriguez and the Pirates a 10-6 win over the Mets.
Wandy had a very rough start to the game, giving up 3 consecutive hits to start off the 1st inning, 2 of them homeruns to Justin Turner and David Wright. “I missed a lot of my location, and they hit the ball very well,” Wandy said. He left the 1st inning with a 4-3 lead, thanks to the Pirates’ bats backing him up, and he shut the Mets down from then on, giving up just 1 more hit. “I know I can put the ball wherever I want, and I concentrated and I put the ball wherever I want,” he said. “Every time, I try to do the best I can.” He pitched 6 innings, giving up just 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. Chris Resop came in to replace Wandy in the 7th, since Wandy had already thrown 106 pitches. Resop made the game a little more exciting, giving up a run on 2 hits and a walk before being replaced by Jared Hughes. Resop was only able to record 1 out, and Hughes gave up an 2-run single to David Wright, the 2 runs being charged to Resop. Jason Grilli pitched a perfect 8th and Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect 9th inning. The 6 total runs given up by the Pirates pitchers weren’t too much for the Pirates hitters to overcome, not tonight.
The Pirates forced the Mets to use seven different pitchers tonight. With 1 out in the 1st inning, Josh Harrison singled, Andrew McCutchen doubled, and Garrett Jones walked to load the bases. The next batter, Gaby Sanchez, lined into a forceout, but Josh Harrison scored on the play. Pedro Alvarez came up next and cleared the bases with his 30th homerun of the year, a blast to left-center field with his family and friends watching. “Obviously it’s very cool,” Pedro said. A 2-run triple by Josh Harrison and a fielding error by Justin Turner in the 2nd inning gave the Pirates 3 more runs. Mets starter Collin McHugh only lasted 1.1 innings and was charged with 7 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. In the 5th inning, Mets reliever Elvin Ramirez, the 3rd Mets pitcher of the night, walked Pedro with the bases loaded to walk in another run and give the Pirates an 8-3 lead. In the 9th inning, with 2 outs and Alex Presley on 1st, Garrett Jones connected on a pitch outside from Jon Rauch and sent it to the opposite field for his 25th homer of the year. That gives the Pirates something to be proud about this year: Garrett joins Pedro and Cutch as the 3rd player on the time to have at least 25 homeruns, the first time 3 Pirates players have done so since 1966. “It’s special,” Pedro said after the game. “We wish the circumstances with our standings and wins and losses were better, but obviously to share something like that with Andrew, it’s very special. And to share it with this organization is very special.” Garrett’s homer added some insurance and gave the Pirates a 10-6 victory.
The Pirates’ elimination number from the Wild Card race now stands at 1, despite tonight’s win. The good news is that a 4-2 record over the last 6 games would give the Pirates a season over .500. The last time they were this close to a .500 season was… a while ago.
Jeff Locke (0-2, 5.47 ERA) will face Jeremy Hefner (2-7, 5.79 ERA) and help the Buccos fight for another win and live to see another day.