If we start at the beginning, I liked what I saw from Kevin Hart tonight. He flashed a nice fastball that sat around 93 or 94 (and topped out at 96) and seemed to spot his slider very well. He seemed to mostly use those two pitches, but I think he has a two-seamer that he was mixing in with the four-seamer and that was helping keep hitters off balance. I thought he caught a bad break in the fifth when he threw a very good two-strike slider to Alex Romero, only to see Romero dig it out and single through the infield to drive in a run. If that run doesn’t score, I think his line for the night ends up looking pretty good. He needs to work on his changeup, but it was an encouraging start.
The rest of the game … was not so encouraging. I mean, I guess you could take it as a good sign that we made it to the 12th inning with our bullpen, but I suppose I’m just not that optimistic. Matt Capps was very good tonight, but no one else really was. Steven Jackson pitched himself back to Indianapolis after allowing five runs in the 12th, but a poor showing by Jeff Karstens and a mediocre one by Jesse Chavez were the reasons we were in the 12th inning to start with. These sorts of things don’t actually matter to the Pirates in the long-run, which is the only thing that does matter at the moment, but they do tend to make for a baseball team that’s difficult to watch.
On the brighter side of things, Colton Cain signed with the team sometime yesterday, which means they’ve nailed down two of the three highly-touted high school arms they drafted in June, with Zach von Rosenberg the remaining one and guys like Jeff Inman, Matt den Dekker, and Zack Dodson forming a second tier of players the Pirates would probably like to have signed in the next 10 days.