This one was a tough one to take. The Pirates were thisclose to busting through the glass ceiling. The offense sputtered and the bullpen faltered, pushing the Pirates one game below the even mark.
Chris Young bopped a two run dinger in the eighth off of Chris Resop for the only runs of the game. Pitcher Micah Owings singled with one out to start the rally.
The Pirates were unable to score against Josh Collmenter and the Arizona bullpen. Collmenter went six plus and the Arizona bullpen did the rest, with Owings picking up the win as part of tossing 2-1/3 innings of relief. The Pirates best chance to score came in the first when Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker singled with two outs, putting runners on the corners. But Lyle Overbay whiffed to end the inning. The Pirates also wasted lead off singles in the sixth and seventh innings.
The failure of the offense meant a no decision for Jeff Karstens. He was stellar and efficient, lasting seven innings and chucking only 79 pitches.
Collementer gave up four singles and two walks in his outing. He struck out four. Karstens gave up four singles and a walk. Resop falls to 2-2 on the year. Owings is now 2-0.
Karstens dropped his ERA to less than 3.00.
A win on Friday puts the Pirates right back at .500. How’s that for some optimism?
Tony Watson tossed 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Bucs managed just five singles.
Owings is easily among this generation’s best hitting pitchers. Going back to 2006, he has the highest career batting average among pitchers who have collected 25 hits. He’s up there with Carlos Zambrano and Yovani Gallardo.
Collmenter hadn’t faced the Pirates before this contest. Karstens only other start against Arizona was a complete game shutout (his lone career shutout) back in 2008. He made four relief appearances against them in 2009.
McCutchen has a modest eight game hitting streak.