Crazy. The Pirates mustered ten hits as a team in three games against the Reds, then Garrett Jones and Andrew McCutchen put up ten between the two of them on Friday afternoon at Wrigley as the Bucs pounded the Cubs (particularly Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Zambrano) for 16 hits and 10 runs to break out of their team slump. The amount of offense generated by the dynamic duo today was staggering: two homers and a double for a total of 17 total bases between them to go with their 7 RBIs (five by Jones) and 7 runs scored (five by McCutchen) while McCutchen threw in two stolen bases for good measure. It’s a performance that’s going to be referenced on team broadcasts (as in, “No two Pirates have done this in one game since …”) for a long time. The rest of the offense filled in the margins nicely, especially in drawing four walks off of Tom Gorzelanny and helping to chase him after five innings that looked very much like five innings he might’ve thrown for the Pirates in 2008 or 2009.
The bullpen also pitched well in a tight situation today, with Brian Burres leaving after allowing six runs in four innings. DJ Carrasco, Evan Meek, Joel Hanrahan, and Octavio Dotel held the Cubs to those six runs and slammed the door shut with Meek, Hanrahan, and Dotel averaging two strikeouts an inning between them for the final four innings.
I said before the game I wanted to see better baseball. This is certainly the way to start.