Game 66 Recap: Karstens Lifts Bucs Up to .500

Karstens allowed no runs in 6-2/3 innings.

The Pirates moved back up to .500 with a nail biting, 1-0 victory over Houston. Jeff Karstens played the hero by tossing 6-2/3 innings of shutout baseball, dropping his ERA to less than 3.00. The offense was still problematic, but four relievers combined to keep Houston off the scoreboard.

Bud Norris was also strong for Houston. The lone score came in the second. Neil Walker singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Garrett Jones singled him in. Pittsburgh had a couple of other opportunities bud didn’t cash in. Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker started the sixth with singles. But Norris whiffed Jones and Lyle Overbay. He retired Michael McKenry without allowing any damage. In the eighth, McCutchen walked, stole second and advanced to third on the errant throw all with one out. But reliever Sergio Esalona retired Walker and Jones to end the threat.

Karstens was outstanding, keeping Houston off of third base during his time on the hill. The closest they got came in the fifth when Brett Wallace singled with two outs and moved to second on a balk. But Karstens retired Chris Johnson to end the inning. He was pulled in the sixth after allowing a two out single to Carlos Lee. Jeff Keppinger was caught looking by Chris Resop to end the inning.

The Pirates went through three pitchers in the eighth inning. Tony Watson faced one batter and retired him. Tim Wood came in and allowed a single to Johnson and then walked Matt Downs. Jose Veras was summoned. He retired former Buc Jason Michaels and Michael Bourn on fly ball outs. Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

Karstens allowed just three hits in 6-2/3 innings. He walked none and struck out three. Norris was the hard luck loser. He went seven and gave up just the one run. He gave up six hits and two walks. He struck out nine. Hanrahan has 18 saves in 18 chances.

The Good
Karstens was once again effective. Who would’ve thought that the pitching staff would not miss Ross Ohlendorf?

One more win to get above .500.

Walker and Jones each had two hits.

The Bad
Only one run on six singles.

Pirates whiffed eleven times.

The Rest
Karstens is now 2-2 against Houston. Norris moves to 2-4 against Pittsburgh.

Hunter Pence’s hitting streak was snapped at 23 games.

Andrew McCutchen extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

This was the first time in June that Pirate hitters whiffed ten or more times.

According to, the last time the Pirates were victorious in a 1-0 game was June 20, 2008 against Toronto when they won in 12. Zach Duke and Roy Halladay each pitched scoreless baseball. Pittsburgh had dropped 56 straight games in which they only scored one run.

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.

Game 65 Recap: Bucs Get Maholm Enough Runs for a W

Next Story »

Game 67 Recap: Bucs Move Above .500 with 7 Run Outburst

Latest Analysis

  • Tyler Glasnow

    The Change That Will Help Tyler Glasnow Reach His Upside

    15 hours ago

    The 2011 draft made headlines for the Pittsburgh Pirates for two main reasons. They selected Gerrit Cole first overall, and gave him a record-setting bonus of $8 ...

    Read More
  • Jameson Taillon

    The Next Steps in Jameson Taillon’s Tommy John Rehab Process

    2 days ago

    Jameson Taillon threw a bullpen session yesterday, which I outlined in the daily recap. Taillon is still in “rehab mode” as Clint Hurdle put it, which means ...

    Read More
  • Sean Rodriguez

    The Keys to Sean Rodriguez Being a Productive Hitter

    2 days ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates added Sean Rodriguez at a high cost this off-season. They traded promising pitching prospect Buddy Borden to the Rays, getting Rodriguez in return after ...

    Read More
  • Elias Diaz taking batting practice.

    How Elias Diaz Quickly Became the Catcher of the Future

    4 days ago

    Elias Diaz has always been well-regarded for his defense. Baseball America named him the best defensive catcher in the Florida State League in 2013, and the best defensive ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Is Vance Worley the Most Under-Rated Pitcher in the Pirates’ Rotation?

    4 days ago

    For the second year in a row, Vance Worley enters Spring Training trying to compete for one of the final spots in the rotation. This time around, ...

    Read More
  • Corey Hart

    Corey Hart Discusses His Knees, Last Year’s Hitting, and Joining the Pirates

    5 days ago

    Up until a few years ago, Corey Hart was a dangerous hitter. From 2010-2012 he had a .279/.343/.514 line, averaging 29 home runs per season. To put ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles