For a game that started out awfully unusually (Kevin Correia struck out the side in the first inning; his K/9 entering the game was 4.1), this one ended up being a pretty straight forward Pirate victory. The Bucs ran out to a 2-0 lead in the first behind Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker RBIs, fell behind when Correia struggled in the middle innings, crept back into the game with an Andrew McCutchen double, and took the lead thanks to some singles and an error (a two-run error that put the Pirates in the lead by Blake Davis in his MLB debut … poor guy). From there, Correia finished off the solid-if-unspectacular start that’s been his calling card this year and the revolving door bullpen — Clint Hurdle used three pitchers in the seventh inning and pulled Chris Resop even though he seemed to be cruising — nailed the lead down.
These two wins are exactly what the Bucs needed after their ugly trip to Cleveland and their blowout loss to the Orioles on Monday. They get to enter the Red Sox series at .500, they’ve played two solid games in a row, and the losing streak is well behind them. They bounced back quickly today after falling behind 4-2, which is always something that’s good to see.
Most importantly, though, is that Andrew McCutchen is back on track after his terrible weekend in Cleveland. Against Baltimore, ‘Cutch went 6-for-9 with two doubles and three walks. He prominently featured in the Bucs’ two-run first today and his leadoff double in the fourth jump-started the comeback after Correia gave the O’s a 4-2 lead. I don’t think that there’s any doubt that this team is an entirely different team on offense when he’s hitting and he’s definitely got his bat going again.
It’s also worth noting that both Chris Resop and Jose Veras have been very solid lately. Veras went 1 1/3 perfect tonight and he’s only been scored on once in his last five outings, which is a nice change of pace from the heart attack inducing walk-machine that he was from mid-May to mid-June. Resop got two huge outs after Danny Moskos put the leadoff batter on base in the seventh, and if you remove back-to-back bad outings on June 9th and 12th (he gave up three runs in 2/3 of an inning total in those two games), he’s been excellent the Detroit series back at the end of May. In fact, those two games are the only two he’s been scored on over the entire span, which now includes 16 appearances.
Also, Joel Hanrahan is awesome. I didn’t need to point that out, but it needs to be said sometimes.