Vance Worley continues to prove the doubters wrong.
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, San Diego Padres 1
In front of a sell-out PNC Park crowd, the Pirates took the series opener from the Pads. Your Bucs move to 62-53 on the year, 9 games above .500, a season high. With a Cardinals loss to the Orioles we now have #secondplaceBucs. The Pirates are just a game back of the first-place Brewers, Clint and the gang are pushing 'em. The win tonight puts the Pirates at the top of the NL Wild Card standings. If the season were to end today, there would be playoff baseball again in Pittsburgh. But it doesn't...so we play on. 47 games left, all of them must-wins. The Pirates are putting themselves in a good spot though, that's for BUCN sure.
Round of applause for Vance Worley tonight! Vanimal put on a show for the 38,088 on hand tonight. Worley went seven strong innings, giving up just five hits, one run which was earned while walking a lone batter and fanning 7. He surrendered his only run to the Padres in his first inning of work, from there on it was shut-down ball. Although, he did have to put on a Houdini act or two escaping a big bases loaded jam with nobody out. Vanimal proved to be too tough for the struggling Padre bats. Before exiting in the 7th he struck out the side, an emphatic exit for a man who has proved himself this second-half of the season. Worley earned the win and moves to 5-1 on the year.
Ian Kennedy pitched well tonight for the Padres, just not well enough. He went 6 IP, giving up two runs, all the Pirates would need to win the ball game. He walked just three and struck out 5. A quality outing, but Worley was better. Two shutout innings from the Padres bullpen added to their line, Thayer and Boyer came on for the 7th and 8th and did not allow the Pirates to extend their lead.
If it wasn't for a Seth Smith SAC fly in the first, the Padres would never have gotten on the board.
The Pirates fired right back in the bottom half of the first after surrendering one in the top. JHay led off the inning with a triple. Polanco then singled him in before stealing second and then third on a throwing error by Padres' catcher Rivera. Ike Davis, saying his name a lot on here lately...drove in Polanco with a SAC fly. His triple moves Harrison's hit streak to 12 games, the guy just won't cool off.
Hurdle turned to the 1-2 punch of Watson and Melancon upon Worley exiting after the 7th. It was elementary for Watson in the 8th as he took the Pads to school. Tony earned his 26th hold of the year. Shark Melancon came on to close it in the 9th, he had no trouble. His 21st save of the year, RAISE IT!
Harrison and Polanco both had multi-hit games for the Bucs tonight. While Davis and El Coffee were responsible for the Pirate RBIs. Ike Davis driving in runs, Pedro taking grounders over at first seems to have put the pressure on Davis a bit. Maybe. Outside of JHay no one lit it up tonight. The Bucs just played ball. They got some runners on, were able to get them in when they had RISP. That's all it takes. You don't need a crooked number every night. What you do need is a good outing from your starting pitchers and the Pirates have been fortunate enough to get that.
Tough call for BUCCO OF THE GAME tonight, it was a close one...Vanimal edges JHay for tonight's honor. Vance Worley is your B.O.G for his dominating performance on the mound tonight!
7:05 again tomorrow night, FIREWORKS NIGHT! Frankie on the mound for your Bucs, looking to show Eric Stults the door early on...