The Pirates squeaking out a narrow win and ending their seemingly interminable 12-game losing streak would be good enough news for once night, but there were plenty of good things in tonight’s win over the Indians. Lastings Milledge had three hits and drove in four of the Pirates’ five runs. That was possible because Andrew McCutchen reached base five times tonight, walking three times to go with his two hits, and scoring from second base on a two-out infield single by Milledge in the bottom of the first inning.
The other run was driven in by Pedro Alvarez who made a great inside-out swing to lace a ground-rule double into the left field corner for his first big league hit and RBI. Just as ending the losing streak had to feel good for the team, finally getting that first hit must’ve lifted a huge burden from Pedro’s back. He looked like he was pressing early in the game with some huge swings and misses, so hopefully he can stop worrying so much and just hit from here on out.
It should also be mentioned that the bullpen trio that put in so much good work back in May was excellent again tonight. When Jeff Karstens served up a three-run homer to Travis Hafner in the fifth and DJ Carrasco and Javier Lopez couldn’t get out of the inning, Evan Meek came in to get four huge outs, then Joel Hanrahan came in and struck out two hitters in an inning (something he does with incredible frequency; he’s second to only Carlos Marmol in strikeouts per nine innings for relievers who have pitched at least 20 innings), and Octavio Dotel closed down the ninth for the Pirates third win in June.
And now, they have to go out there and try to do it again tomorrow.