Francisco Liriano dazzled Wednesday night against the Giants.
Francisco Liriano looked as if he may have returned to his old form Tuesday night at AT&T Park. Liriano went seven strong innings allowing just four hits, walking one and giving up only one earned run while striking out eleven. His eleven strikeouts ties the season high for a Pirates pitcher, previously set by Charlie Morton. The lone blemish on Liriano's line was a solo home run given up to Michael Morse. Liriano relied heavily on his slider tonight, one that was sharp and effective. The clearest sign that Frankie may be back in old form. For his performance Francisco Liriano is our BUCCO OF THE GAME. Frankie may just be coming around at the right time.
Liriano gave way to Watson and Melancon who finished off the Giants. Watson took over in the bottom of the 8th providing a little reason to worry after allowing a leadoff single. However, 4-6-3 double play dispelled any anxiety to end the inning. Melancon came on in the 9th and also allowed a leadoff base runner. He then slid out of the almost jam by striking out former Pirate Travis Ishikawa to end the game. Melancon's 20th save of the season tying a career high.
Early and Often...
The Pirate bats were off to a hot start early on again in game two against the Giants. Scoring all of their runs in the first two innings, a couple home runs and some timely base runners/hits that lead to an early 3-0 lead were all it would take.
Josh Harrison and Travis Snider led the way with home runs. JHay stayed hot sending one to right field in the first his eighth of the season. While Snider tallied his seventh homer of the year hitting a two run bomb in the second. Neil Walker also had a pair of base hits that ended up being important for the Pirates offense.
Cutch ended his 0-14 slump with a double in the 8th. In turn he joins Barry Bonds as the only other Pirate with four seasons of...30+ 2B, 5+ 3B, 15+ HR, and 15+ SB. Pretty impressive stuff.
Polanco had a rough night at the plate going 0-4, not much to show for lately with him. For that Gregory earns our SUCCO OF THE GAME...sorry El Coffee.
The Pirates are making up for giving away a few games at Colorado. Guys are getting hot at the right time. To top it all off, excitement still hot and heavy surrounding possible acquisition of Jon Lester (as long as Billy Beane stays out of things).
Matinee for the Buccos tomorrow. 3:45 ET from San Fran. Charlie Morton takes the mound (5-10, 3.40) against Timmy Lincecum (9-7, 3.96).