Say what you will about this team, but they refuse to lay down. Last night displayed this once again as they not only fought to tie and go into extra innings, but they fought to win it while in extra innings to a score of 5-4.
The night was was headlined by John Jaso‘s walk off single in the 10th inning off of Josh Edgin who was the lefty reliever the Mets put into the game to specifically face Jaso. It has been since May 6, 2016, that Jaso recorded a hit off of a lefty pitcher. Though he does very well when facing righties, Jaso is only a career .162 hitter verse southpaws. With two men on, two outs, and a full count, Jaso took an 88 mph slider 301 feet into right field to score the game winning run in the 10th inning.
The unsung hero from last night’s game was certainly Andrew McCutchen. We won’t talk about that blunder he had at home late. Well, it would only be fair to write about it. In the 6th inning with two outs Francisco Cervelli hit a hard grounder to short which was tough to field. Cutch, while running from second, rounded third without hesitation towards home and was thrown out by Asdrubal Cabrera who found making the out at first too difficult.
Anyway, back to Andrew being the unsung hero last night. Cutch went 2-for-3 with a walk, a HBP, and three RBI’s. What was further impressive was the fact that his two hits were a double and a home run and both of these hits came with an exit velocity of 103 and 105 mph. The other time at the plate he actually barreled the ball and hit it 396 feet to the center field warning track with an exit velocity of 99 mph. Cutch did mention during the Atlanta benching 2017 that he knew what was wrong. His drop in exit velocity this year was quite concerning, so maybe this is a sign of better things to come.
The entire Pirates lineup executed to a tune of 13 hits and four walks this evening. Besides Jaso and Cutch, Jordy Mercer smashed two doubles, and Francisco Cervelli was the other Pirate to collect two hits on the evening. The Pirates were seeing the ball well and turning on them as they drove three balls to the warning track for outs and had another three hit to the warning track for doubles.
Thankfully the offense was playing as well as they were because Gerrit Cole was not sharp. We’ve mentioned it before and tonight continued to show that the long ball continues to plague him. He gave up three solo shots to Jay Bruce, Travis d’Arnaud, and Lucas Duda. In total he pitched jut 5 innings allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and one walk.
The bullpen was clutch as it has found itself to be often enough. Wade LeBlanc relieved Cole in the 6th inning and pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts. Juan Nicasio would enter the 7th and smoke the side recording three strikeouts in the inning he pitched. Filthy Felipe Rivero also threw a perfect inning recording a strikeout and then Tony Watson entered the 10th recording the win with a scoreless inning.