A week ago, we figured it would take an impressive effort by the Pirates to not lose 100 games. Tonight, they managed to do just that with a 3-1 win over the Reds, notching their 62nd win of the season and ensuring that they won’t lose 100 for the second time in the PNC Park era. They really have played quite well over the last week, going 6-2 against the Dodgers, Cubs, and Reds and if not for a rainout last night, they might have even pushed that total to 7-2.
One nice thing about this win tonight is that a few of the Bucs managed to re-notch the stats that they lost when last night’s game was called after three innings and an interminable rain delay. Lastings Milledge hit his fourth homer (again) and Andy LaRoche (who lost an RBI double) knocked in two runs with an RBI single (and pulled the rare feet of being thrown out twice at second base trying to stretch singles into doubles, though both were on nice plays by Wlad Balentien and Jay Bruce).
The real story of the night (besides the importance of the win) was Dan McCutchen making his second straight solid start and getting his first Major League win. He looked good in holding the Reds to just four hits in 6 1/3, striking out five and walking two. The fourth hit was a monster home run by Balentien, but Jesse Chavez, Joel Hanrahan, and Matt Capps(!) closed the game out to preserve the win.
And we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The Bucs probably lost the second pick in the draft this week, but it’s been nice to see this team play with some life and passion after almost two full months in the dumps.