Game 38: Pirates 12 Braves 9

It was only about three weeks ago that the Pirates raced out to an 7-0 lead against the Rockies, ROOT Sports flashed a graphic saying that the Pirates hadn’t blown an 7-0 lead since the John Quincy Adams administration, and then the Pirates blew that lead and needed 12 innings to somehow eek out a 9-8 win in 12 innings.

Because I am a big dumb idiot, I thought about that game when the Pirates had their 9-0 lead after two innings in this game and I concluded, “No way the Pirates almost blow a lead like this TWICE in a month.”

Of course, the Pirates almost did just that. After being handed the 8-0 lead, Juan Nicasio hit a trouble spot in the third, where he gave up three runs and lost his command. He gave up two more in the fifth, then Ryan Vogelsong came in and gave one up in the sixth and then worked into more trouble in the seventh, when he was relieved by Arquimedes Caminero, who served up a three-run homer. The Pirates kept scoring, though, and they turned to Neftali Feliz, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon at that point, and so they won 12-9 instead of suffering a much worse outcome.

The good news, I suppose, is that pretty much everyone hit tonight. The Pirates might still be batting in the first inning if John Jaso hadn’t gotten thrown out at home on Andrew McCutchen’s single that scored Nicasio and gave the Pirates a 7-0 lead. They had 21 hits as a whole, with three apiece from Jaso (one double), McCutchen (a triple), Polanco (all three hits were doubles), and Francsco Cervelli (one double), and two singles apiece from Matt Joyce, Josh Harrison, and Jordy Mercer. If you’re keeping track, that’s a multi-hit night from every position player starter but Jung Ho Kang (who had a single of his own). Nicasio added an RBI single of his own, and Alen Hanson pinch-hit for him with his first big league hit that lead to his first big league run.

The Pirate pitching staff is going to have to pull itself together at some point. Until then, at least the Pirate offense is here.

Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.