I had this recap mostly written in my head after seven innings this afternoon. I’m sure you can figure out what it was going to say. “One run in 27 innings, three losses, interleague play sucks, wasted a decent start by Karstens again, blah blah blah.” I recap every game, but all recaps are not created equal and the loss we seemed destined for today was certainly not one that was going to be particularly interesting.
Right around this point, Eric Hinske blasted a homer to right field. When that happened, I did the little shrug that Pirate fans do that means, “Meh. We’ve scored two runs in the first 26 innings of this series and we still need two more to win. I am not getting my hopes up.” Of course, Jack Wilson homering off of Bobby Jenks with two outs is a more of a perception-changer. It was Jack’s first homer since August 15th of last year and only his second since the start of the 2008 season. You can say what you want about the guy (I usually do), but he really picked his spot against Bobby Jenks today. That left the Bucs a Nyjer Morgan double and a Delwyn Young single away from somehow stealing a win from the White Sox today.
And it’s great that the Pirates won, because there are some positives to take from this game. Morgan had a nice game with three hits and Freddy Sanchez broke out of his slump a bit with two. Craig Monroe and Eric Hinske both gave the Bucs two hits, which is a nicely highlights just how good the Pirates’ bench has been this year, and the bullpen was great, shutting out the White Sox for 3 2/3 innings to keep things close enough for a dramatic comeback. Matt Capps was particularly impressive, striking out the side on just 15 pitches. Since the fiasco against the Rockies and the resulting bullpen session with Joe Kerrigan, he really looks a lot better.
This certainly wasn’t a great series for the Bucs. The White Sox were reeling from their pounding at the Twins’ hands last Thursday and the Pirates’ offense helped their pitching staff reboot itself. Somehow, though, they scraped out a win, and that’s a lot more than any of us were expecting after seven innings today.