This was pretty much how you’d hope a game would go on a rainy afternoon against the Astros. James McDonald was excellent in cruising through seven innings before a combination of rain and fatigue lead to two walks in the top of the eighth (the Astros also handed McDonald an out after an awful bunt by JR Towles that McDonald made an excellent lunging catch on). Jason Grilli had no problem slamming the door on the Astros in the eighth, though, and a combination of Joel Hanrahan and awful base running by the ‘Stros closed the game out pretty easily.
You’d obviously like to see more offense from the Pirates than what they got today (just three runs, one on a late solo homer by Derrek Lee), especially because they had a little more luck against Henry Sosa today, reaching base nine times in six innings against him. The three runs turned to be enough, though, because of the pitching staff and after being swept by the Astros last week, I’m not going to complain.
Here’s a fun lesson in arbitrary end points — both of the following statements are true:
- The Pirates have won three of their last four against the Cubs and Astros.
- The Pirates have lost four of their last seven against the Cubs and Astros, including being swept at Houston last week.
With today’s win, the Pirates are 37.5% of their way to their August win total in September after just five games.