Game 159 Recap: Willis Pitches, Hits Reds to Victory

d'Arnaud had two hits and drove in two.

There were a couple of failures in this one. James McDonald was looking for his tenth win on the year. The Pirates were on the cusp of a sweep. Neither happened as Dontrelle Willis pitched well and broke a tie with a two run double in the sxith.

Cincinnati was on McDonald from the outset. Brandon Phillips walked to lead off the game. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce each singled to make it 1-0 Reds before the Pirates even batted. More of the same in the second. Juan Francisco doubled leading off. Devin Mesoraco reached on a miscue by Josh Harrison. Francisco was standing on third and Mesoraco on second when the dust settled. Paul Janish lifted a fly ball that scored Francsico. A single from Phillips scored Mesorasco and it was 3-0 Reds.

Willis ran into his lone bit of trouble in the third. Derrek Lee singled. He moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Ryan Ludwick walked. d’Arnaud tripled into the Notch to get them both home on a ball that looked like Reds left fielder Dave Sappelt took a poor route to get to. Michael McKenry followed with a sac fly to even it at three.

It stayed like that until the sixth inning. Daniel Moskos relieved McDonald and allowed the Reds to break the tie. Mesoraco singled with one out. Janish doubled him to third. Willis followed with his double that emptied the bases and put the Reds up 5-3. Chris Leroux relieved and got the next two outs.

The Pirates would have a chance in the ninth. Francisco Cordero walked Andrew McCutchen. He moved up when Cordero uncorked a wild pitch. Neil Walker doubled him in with one gone. But Cordero whiffed Garrett Jones and got a fly ball out from Pedro Alvarez to end it.

McDonald was pulled after five innings. He allowed one earned run (three overall) on six hits. He whiffed four and walked a pair. Willis allowed the first three Pirate runs in six innings. Those tallies came on just three hits and two walks. He struck out six. Cordero got the shaky save in the ninth.

The Good
Continued good support from the Black and Gold faithful as there was another strong crowd. Helps that the Steelers play tonight.

d’Arnaud had two hits, scored one and drove in two.

The Bad
McDonald failed to get his tenth win on the year.

Bucs whiffed eleven times.

The Rest
McDonald falls to 3-2 against the Reds. Willis moves to 3-6 against the Pirates. He hadn’t beaten them since 2005 and had lost four straight decisions against them prior to this contest.

Francisco has three of his six doubles in the last two games.

Bruce now has 95 RBI. This is the first time since 2004 that the Reds had at least two hitters with 95 RBI. Back in 2004 in it was Adam Dunn and Sean Casey.

The last win for Willis was 6/5/10 agaisnt Colorado. He is hitting a cool .400 on the year.

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.

Game 158 Recap: Bucs Pile On Early, Hold On Late in Win

Next Story »

Game 160 Recap: Presley, Alvarez Drive Home Three Each in Win

Latest Analysis

  • Alen Hanson f

    Pirates Talk With David Todd: Hanson, Ramirez, Taillon, Kingham, Richard, Worley

    6 hours ago

    I was on 970 ESPN in Pittsburgh this afternoon for my weekly segment with David Todd. The podcast can be heard below. Here is a summary of ...

    Read More
  • Billy Roth is the top prospect in Bristol this year.

    Another Projectable Prep Pitcher Sees An Increase in His Velocity

    12 hours ago

    When discussing the best Pittsburgh Pirates draft under Neal Huntington, the 2011 group has to be at the top of the list. It features Gerrit Cole, Tyler ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    2 days ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    3 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

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

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    5 days 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

    6 days 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

    7 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

    1 week 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

    1 week 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

    2 weeks 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
  • Browse More Articles

    More