In three games against the Phillies, the Pirates hit six home runs, plating nine of the ten runs they scored in this series. Of those six home runs, three were in the eighth or ninth innings, tying or putting the Pirates ahead in each game. So with those six homers and ten runs, the Pirates somehow managed to steal a series from the defending World Champs.
It’s funny; the Pirates held a second “you score as the Pirates’ score” promotion this week. The first time they held it, they scored ten runs in three days against the Diamondbacks, but the last two games were shutouts and things were genally dismal. This time, they again scored three runs in ten games, but with an entirely different outcome.
Before Garrett Jones’ huge eighth inning homer that put the Pirates ahead, I had intended to focus this recap on what I thought was a perfect microcosm of Charlie Morton’s season earlier in the game. In the second inning, he struck out Pedro Feliz with a huge, beautiful breaking pitch that froze Feliz in his tracks in the batter’s box. He then threw two straight balls to Paul Bako and came back over the plate with a fastball on a platter, which Bako whacked over the fence. Honestly, I can’t get a handle on Morton. Sometimes his stuff is great and he knows it, other times I think he has less of an idea where the ball is going when it leaves his hand than the batter does.
He was good enough to keep the Phillies mostly off the board tonight, though, and that was good enough. Oh, and Andrew McCutchen hit a leadoff homer. And Pedro Alvarez hit two homers in Altoona. Is it weird that I’m enjoying a team that’s about to set one of the worst records in professional sports so much?