There's always something nice about a win after a couple of consecutive losses, isn't there? The Pirates weren't terrible against the Nats over the weekend, but they were really uneven in a way that they haven't been all season. Seeing them put together a nice, tightly played win after a series like that is something of a relief, even if it comes against a bad team like the Mariners.
Before anything else, it's worth pointing out that Jeanmar Gomez was quite excellent in his five shutout innings tonight. He only really got into trouble once (he walked Jason Bay after a Michael Saunders single with two outs in the third) and otherwise, he cruised. He struck out five, walked two, only gave up two hits, and got six groundouts to go with just one flyout. He had the Mariners off balance all night and was throwing what looked like a pretty heavy sinker, all with good command (41 strikes in 66 pitches). It's just the Mariners, sure, but a strong start is a strong start. With all the groundballs behind him, the middle infield had a nice game. Clint Barmes made a couple of strong starts and Jordy Mercer started a pretty 4-6-3 double play in the fourth.
Since the start came on short notice and Gomez has spent most of the season as a long reliever, he only threw those 66 pitches and left the rest to the bullpen. Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon, and Jason Grilli were all excellent while Tony Watson and Jose Contreras gave up the Mariners one run. Still, they were plenty good enough with the 2-0 lead that Gomez handed over to them.
If there was anything to complain about, it was not scoring enough off of Aaron Harang. Things started nicely with a single and two doubles (in order: Starling Marte, Travis Snider, and Andrew McCutchen) in the first, but then dried up until Garrett Jones's two-run insurance homer in the eighth. Still, Andrew McCutchen had four hits and Travis Snider had a double and another hard-hit flyout. Four runs was more than plenty.
I'd like to see the Pirates get a two-game sweep againsnt the Mariners here, but with King Felix on the mound tomorrow I'm awfully greatful for this win.