Friday, October 11, 2013

Summer to Remember Part 2 - June to All-Star Break

The Pirates were strong in June, tearing off a nine game winning streak late in the month. At one point in July, they led the NL Central by two games, and went into the All Star break just a game behind.

  • June 1 - Francisco Liriano tied the franchise record by striking out seven consecutive Reds, but Mike Leake won the duel at PNC Park by a 2-0 count. Liriano went six innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, punching out 11. Not a ball left the infield in the inning he surrendered the run, and only a disputed two-out call at first allowed Cincy to score at all off The Cisco Kid.
  • June 2 - The Reds raced to a 4-0 first inning lead against Jeanmar Gomez, and the righty was yanked after the frame with forearm tightness. But the Pirate bullpen piled up 10 scoreless frames, allowing just five hits, while Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones homered - Jones became the first Pirate to reach the Allegheny on the fly with his 463’ blast - to send the game into extra innings at PNC Park. The Pirates took it in the eleventh on Travis Snider’s soft two-out liner that scored Russell Martin from second for a walk off 5-4 win. 
  • June 6 - The Pirates picked high school OF Austin Meadows (#9) and C Reese McGuire in the first round of the draft. 
  • June 11 - First overall pick of the 2011 draft, RHP Gerrit Cole, made his MLB debut at PNC Park and picked up an 8-2 win over the SF Giants in front of 30,614 fans. Cole pitched to contact, giving up two runs on seven hits with two K in 6-1/3 innings, needing just 81 pitches and registering 99 on the gun a couple of times during the evening. Pedro Alvarez went 3-for-3 with a homer, two runs scored and three RBI to spark the attack.
  • June 12 - The Pirates collected their 10,000th franchise win when they beat the Giants 12-8 at PNC Park. 236 wins were collected as the Alleghenys of the American Association and 9,764 W were notched in the NL (which are the only ones the team officially recognizes). The top of the Pirate order (Starling Marte - Jordy Mercer - Andrew McCutchen - Gaby Sanchez) propelled the win against SF, going 13-for-19 and scoring eight runs while driving in four. It marked the fourth time in the last 59 seasons that the top four hitters in the Bucs starting lineup each had at least three hits (the previous being in 2004), and Marte became only Pirate leadoff hitter since 1916 with a four-hit, four-run, two-steal day. 
  • June 18 - After a defeat at Cincy during which Andrew McCutchen was HBP and Neil Walker was knocked down, Charlie Morton plunked the first Red to step to plate and then led the Bucs to a 4-0 win at GABP. Morton and three relievers combined on a four hitter. The Bucs never looked back, scoring three times in the first, keyed by a two run, bases loaded knock by Pedro Alvarez. 
  • June 23 - It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. Angel pitchers had sat down 16 straight Pirates and went into the ninth with a 6-3 lead at Angel Stadium with closer Ernesto Frieri on the hill. But the battlin’ Bucs tied the game on a double by Russell Martin and single by Starling Marte, both with two strikes and two outs. Then they scored four more in the 10th. But LA decided to not mail it in; they scored three times in their half off Bucco closer Jason Grilli and had runners on second and third with two out and Mike Trout up; Grilli got him swinging. The hitting heroes were Martin and Andrew McCutchen. Both were scheduled for off days, but played the last two innings, going a combined 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. It was also the MLB debut for a pair of Pirate rookies, C Tony Sanchez, who doubled in his first at bat, and RHP Duke Welker, who worked a frame and got his first big league punch out. It was a series sweep for the Pirates, their first road interleague sweep ever. 
  • June 25 - The Bucs banged five homers for the first time since 2009 and rolled to a 9-4 win over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Starling Marte led the Pirates' offense with a pair of home runs, his first career multi-homer game, and a triple. Russell Martin, Brandon Inge and Gaby Sanchez also homered. The Pirates went long three times in the second inning off Joe Saunders; Inge and Marte went back-to-back. Jeff Locke coasted to the win. 
  • June 28 - Gerrit Cole, the first overall pick of the 2011 draft, became the first Pirate rookie since Nick Maddox in 1907 to win the first four games he started when the Bucs shellacked the Brewers 10-3 at PNC Park in front of 36,875. Cole went six frames for the win, supported by Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, who each had three hits. Cutch had a double, homer, three RBI and a run while Starling added a double, triple, two runs and two RBI. 
  • June 29 - A life-size statue of Roberto Clemente was unveiled at the 25-acre Roberto Clemente State Park along the Harlem River in the Bronx. The likeness, sculpted by Maritza Hernandez, was the first in New York to honor a person of Puerto Rican heritage, according to the park's director. 
  • June 30 - The Pirates won their ninth straight game 2-1 in 14 innings over the Brewers at PNC Park. The game was delayed in the second inning for nearly 2-1/2 hours, and the bullpens took over with Milwaukee ahead 1-0. Andrew McCutchen tied the game in the eighth when his two out knock drove in Starling Marte. The Pirates left the bases loaded in the 13th to miss a golden chance, but Russell Martin, the last Pirate position player remaining, singled home Gaby Sanchez, who had an infield knock and stolen base to open the frame, with the game winner in the following go-around. Tony Watson got the win after three scoreless innings. He followed five other Pirate relievers, and ensemble the group tossed 12 innings of two-hit, shutout ball without issuing a walk, led by Vin Mazzaro’s perfect five inning stint. It was the first time in franchise history that the bullpen put up that many consecutive zeroes in one game.
  • July 16 - Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon and Jeff Locke were selected for the All-Star game. It was a homecoming of sorts for Alvarez, as the game was played in CitiField near his Manhattan home of Washington Heights, and he also participated in the home run derby. El Toro went 0-for-1 and McCutchen 0-for-2, while Grilli tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Melancon didn’t get in the game, and Locke was injured. It was the first time since 1972 that the Pittsburgh Pirates had sent five representatives to the game.

No comments: