There were a couple points in the afternoon when I was sure that the slender lead the Pirates built up against Ryan Vogelsong was going to completely fall apart, but for the first time this year the Pirates got a lead early in a game and then actually managed to hold onto it for the remainder of the game. It wasn’t exactly a masterful offensive performance: the Bucs left the bases loaded twice that I remember (Jose Tabata both times) and didn’t manage to really break things open until Pablo Sandoval’s defense helped them out in the eighth, but the Bucs got there and they snapped their five-game losing streak, and now we can hope things move on in a better direction.
Kevin Correia made his second straight strong start, holding the Giants to three hits and a run in his six innings. On the surface it seems like he’s the same smoke and mirrors act as last year (he currently as just five strikeouts in 12 innings), but he got a whopping 13 groundouts today and he got twice as many groundballs as flyballs in his first start, too. Correia isn’t really what I’d consider a groundball pitcher, so this is a trend worth monitoring.
There were a few other good signs today. The team drew five walks (three by Mike McKenry) and Joel Hanrahan, Jason Grilli, and Jared Hughes all put up scoreless innings despite getting themselves into trouble. The Pirates head to Arizona next. Hopefully it will treat them better than California has.