Saturday, May 23, 2015

Harvey Wallbangers: Bucs Romp 8-2

AJ fanned two of the first three Mets he saw; Matt Harvey K'ed one. But the bookends were a Josh single and Cutch bomb into the bullpen (at 426', it was the longest ever hit off Harvey), and it was quickly 2-0. Pedro lost a baseball high in the RF stands in the second to make it 3-0.

In the fourth, the Mets turned a pair of singles and a bounce out into a run, but the Bucs responded in a big way in their half. Jung-Ho Kang singled with one out and Pedro's double brought him in. Gregory Polanco & Fran Cervelli drew walks to juice the sacks, and Alvarez plated on AJ's sacrifice fly, his second RBI of the season. Josh then chased Gregory and Fran home with a double down the first base line. That made it 7-1; each team later added a run, and Pittsburgh had a surprisingly easy 8-2 victory over NY and Harvey.

Burnett's farewell tour - and he still says this season is it - is off to a rollicking start. He gave up a run on five hits and struck out ten in seven frames, using 96 pitches. Tomorrow afternoon, the Pirates go for the sweep when Frankie Liriano takes on Jon Neise.

AJ is acting pretty frisky for a 38 year-old (photo: Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Per MLB Stats: Today was AJ's 36th career game with double-digit strikeouts. It was the first without a walk. Other notes: With his 10 Ks , AJ has lifetime 2,423 whiffs, moving into 39th place on MLB’s career list. And it added to his franchise record of nine season starting outings giving up two or fewer runs. Oh, and his 1.37 ERA leads the majors.
  • The last time Pirate starters struck out at least 10 batters in back-to-back games, as Gerrit Cole & AJ just did, was in 1984 when John Candelaria (12) and Larry McWilliams (10) did it in victories over the Reds.
  • Josh kept his hit streak going, now at 10, with his first at-bat, sending several thousand Harrison bobbleheads into a swaying frenzy (they were today's give-away). Jung-Ho ran his streak to six games.
  • Cutch's long ball was his 62nd at PNC Park, breaking a tie with Jay Bay and making him the all-time HR leader in the yard. He's was a hit shy of the cycle, with a single, double and homer. Pedro moved into third place with his 52nd homer, breaking his tie with Garrett Jones.
  • Matt Harvey's four inning outing was the shortest of his career; the seven runs he surrendered were the most of his career. And he kept another string intact - he's never won a game when the Mets have scored two or fewer runs.
  • There was a sellout crowd of 39,385 at PNC Park, the third full house of the year.

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