Game 15 Recap: Bucs Win See-Saw Battle

McCutchen paced the Pirates offensive attack.

Reds starter Edinson Volquez continued his first inning troubles. Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata started the game with consecutive home runs. Lyle Overbay walked and Neil Walker doubled. Volquez whiffed Pedro Alvarez before walking Garrett Jones. Chris Snyder walked to force in a run and Ronny Cedeno’s deep fly ball made it 4-0.

Cincinnati got one back in the second when Jonny Gomes homered off of Jeff Karstens. Three straight singles in the bottom of the fourth off Karstens brought home another run, with Paul Janish stroking the run producing knock. The wheels fell off in the next inning. Karstens was pulled after three straight one out hits. Miguel Cairo homered to make it 4-3. Joey Votto singled and Scott Rolen doubled to tie the game. Exit Karstens. Enter Daniel McCutchen. The other Cutch gave up a two out RBI single to Jay Bruce to put Cincy up 5-4.

The lead didn’t last long. Garrett Jones blasted a solo homer (by blasted I mean it was carried by the wind out to left field) with one gone in the top of the sixth to even it up. Ronny Cedeno walked with two outs prompting a pitching change. Jordan Smith faced pinch hitter John Bowker and he delivered an RBI double that put Pittsburgh up 6-5.

The Reds didn’t quit. Jose Veras was in his second inning of relief in the seventh when Jay Bruce homered with one out to knot the score at six each. A wild eighth inning put the Pirates up for good. Jones led off with a single. He reached third on an error by Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek that put Chris Snyder at first. Jones was forced at home by Cedeno but that play left two men on. After a pop out from Steve Pearce, McCutchen hit a two out, RBI single to put the Buccos on top.

But Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan made it interesting. Meek got one out and left with two men on in the eighth. Hanrahan got lucky when Rolen’s liner was snared by Cedeno. He flipped to walker for a double play. In the ninth, the Reds threatened again. With one out, Bruce tapped one in front of the plate. Snyder’s throw to first was wild. Bruce ran through the bag but turned toward second base when he saw the ball go into shallow right. Walker was backing up the play and quickly retrieved the ball. He tossed it to first where Overbay tagged Bruce who was trying to get back to first after making that commitment to second base (attention little leaguers – don’t do that during your games). But it wasn’t over. Edgar Renteria singled. Janish singled. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Ryan Hanigan walked. But Drew Stubbs flied out to McCutchen to end it.

Karstens went 4-1/3 and gave up five runs on eight hits. He whiffed six and walked one. Volquez tossed 5-2/3. He gave up five hits and six walks while K’ing six. He surrendered six runs. Chris Resop was the winner. He got the final out of the seventh inning with a man on second. Ondrusek took the loss. Hanrahan got the rocky, long save.

The Good
Cutch was 3-3 and walked twice.

The Pirates established a new 2011 high with seven runs.

Despite some rocky moments, the bullpen went 4-2/3 and allowed just one run.

Jones and Walker each had a pair of hits.

Pirate pitchers totalled double digit strikeouts for the second time this season.

The Bad
I was hoping for a bit more from Karstens.

Pedro Alvarez was 0-4 and struck out two more times.

McCutchen’s day wasn’t all sunshine and roses. He was caught stealing when he over-slid the second base bag. And he committed an error.

The Rest
I believe the last time the Pirates started their half of the first inning with consecutive home runs was way back on 7/5/1982 when Omar Moreno and one of my all-time favorite players, Johnny Ray, connected off of Joe Niekro of Houston.

McCutchen’s homer to start the game was his seventh career lead off dinger. That ties him for third all-time among Pirates with Bob Bailey. He’s behind Barry Bonds (20) and Al Martin (10). Moreno had five in his time with Pittsburgh.

Volquez has surrendered thirteen first inning runs in 2011.

Ondrusek’s loss was the first of his career.

This was the fourth time that Bruce rapped out four hits in a single contest.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

Pink Hawley

Next Story »

Prospect Trends — Week (and a half) Ending 4/17

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    3 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    1 day ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles