09 June 2011
After a decent but still disappointing homestand, the Diamondbacks kicked off a seven game roadtrip in Pittsburgh against the Pirates, who are playing good baseball as of late. Still, it is the Pirates, and if the D’Backs hope to contend this season against the defending world champion Giants, they are going to have to do better than losing a three game series to a team that has not had a winning season since 1992. There were some bright spots: Juan Miranda had a career game, Chris Young had two homers, and the three starting pitchers combined for two earned runs in 19 innings, an ERA of 0.95. But unfortunately the bullpen was reminiscent of 2010. Below for all the details.
Tuesday- Game 1 vs. Pittsburgh: Before the 12,378 could settle into their seats with their hot dogs and peanuts, Kelly Johnson had put the D’Backs up 1-0 with a homer. They fell down 3-1 after that, but backed Daniel Hudson with three runs in the 5th and another in the 8th (courtesy of CY’s first homer of the series) for a 5-3 lead. Juan Miranda had a career high four hits, and only one of the runs allowed by Hudson was earned. The game was then turned into the always-steady hands of David Hernandez. He was unable to retire even one of the six batters he faced, surrendering 5 runs, capped by a Lyle Overbay bases loaded, bases clearing double. Joel Hanrahan had an easy 9th, Buccos win 8-5.
W: Resop (2-1)
L: Hernandez (2-2)
S: Hanrahan (15)
Player of the Game: His double put the final touches on an improbable comeback off Hernandez, so Lyle Overbay and his 1-4, 3RBI night take the POTG.
Wednesday- Game 2 vs. Pittsburgh: After a heartbreaking 8th inning meltdown in Game 1, the D’Backs were hoping that was not going to happen again. Tonight it did. Twice. It started off as quite the pitchers’ duel; best friends Zach Duke and Paul Maholm matching each other pitch-for-pitch, Duke 7IP, 1R, Maholm 6IP, 0R. With the D’Backs “B” team playing this game, manager Kirk Gibson decided to enter regulars Kelly Johnson and Stephen Drew in the 8th. Johnson walked, advanced to second on a bunt, then scored on a Drew single to send the game into extras. In the 10th, Johnson walked and was advanced on a bunt again, and then again was singled home by Drew. Then J.J. Putz came in to lock down the game in the bottom half of the inning. He struck out the first batter, then allowed a ground-rule double to the red hot Andrew McCutchen, followed by a single by the team’s RBI leader Neil Walker. The game continued until the bottom of the 12th, when again McCutchen walked to the plate. This time it didn’t take a bounce to get over the wall, as his blast off Zach Kroenke easily cleared the fence and lifted the Pirates to a 3-2 win.
W: Daniel McCutchen (2-1)
L: Zach Kroenke (0-1)
Player of the Game: He was part of every Pirate run, via a sac fly, scoring on a single, and a walkoff homerun - Andrew McCutchen: 3-5, 2R, 2RBI, HR
Thursday- Game 3 vs. Pittsburgh: The Pirates had now won five in a row against the Diamondbacks dating back to last year, and were looking to sweep the Snakes for the second time in as many series. Unfortunately for the Pirates, Josh Collmenter decided to keep the D’Backs starting pitching staff, which has only allowed two earned runs in the two games, rolling. He pitched to the tune of five shutout innings, then turned it over to Micah Owings for three solid innings of work. Chris Young broke open a 0-0 tie with a two run bomb into left where the only question mark attached to it was fair or foul; it was long gone. That followed Owings, who had just gotten an infield hit, his first hit of any kind this season. Kirk Gibson called upon David Hernandez to save it, his chance at redemption, and he did easily; D’Backs win the final game of the series 2-0.
W: Owings (2-0)
L: Resop (2-2)
S: Hernandez (2)
Player of the Game: If you have the only RBIs in a 2-0 final, you get POTG. Chris Young