Bullpen Robs Moyer of Win in Series Opener with Bucs
And it’s back to business as usual for Jamie Moyer, who may wait weeks before breaking his own record for being the oldest pitcher to win a game. After finally recording a win last week, he put in a stellar 6-inning, 1-run outing last night en route to another no-decision. And this time, it’s not really the offense that’s to blame. Certainly they could have done more, but when the bullpen blows two saves in the same game, we all know who’s at fault here.
The game started out like you’d hope it would, with a Dexter Fowler single and a Carlos Gonzalez home run. It was a great AB for Cargo, too, 7 pitches and not one wild swing and a miss. Unfortunately, Kevin Correia squelched the rally after a Troy Tulowitzki single by getting Todd Helton to ground out and Michael Cuddyer to line out. Considering how offensively potent those two have been, that’s a tall order, and Correia filled it.
In the bottom half of the frame, Alex Presley swung at a 76-mph “fastball” that was Moyer’s second pitch of the game and lifted it to center for a double. A sacrifice fly and RBI groundout scored Presley and cut the Pirates’ lead to 1. But Moyer, in typical Moyer fashion, limited the damage to that and didn’t allow another earned run.
Alas, neither did Correia, so the score remained 2-1 going into the bottom of the 7th, when Rex Brothers took the hill. We all know what Brothers can do, and what he usually does. He can strike out the side as well as anybody. But he’s still developing, and so there are days like yesterday sometimes too. On those days, he gives up 3 hits and a walk along with a couple of runs that make the score 3-2 in favor of the other team. Brothers stuck to his fastball for the most part, a nasty pitch when it’s well-located, but when it’s not, it gets a lot of distance off the end of somebody’s bat. When he tried mixing in his slider, he couldn’t throw it for strikes. Tough outing for him, but he’ll brush it off and come back, probably today since doubleheaders mean everybody plays.
Awesome job by Josh Roenicke to take over for Brothers in the 7th and record 3 quick outs. And the Rockies even went back up in the top of the 8th when Marco Scutaro reached on a single and Cargo homered again (if you’re keeping track, he gets credit for all the Rockies’ RBI yesterday). And then there was Matt Belisle, even more reliable than Brothers, so what a shame that they both had a meltdown on the same day. Belisle’s came in the form of throwing three pitches to Clint Barmes, the third of which was launched to left field and out of the yard. Tie game. Then Belisle walked Garrett Jones and couldn’t field Presley’s sac bunt, allowing 2 men on with no out. He got 2 outs from there, but a Casey McGehee single scored the go-ahead run. From there, Joel Hanrahan recorded a 1-2-3 9th and got the save.
Not too many overarching conclusions to draw from this one, though I will say that the thorn in the Rockies’ side has been games like this, one-run games that are lost by a few careless pitches or one bad play in the field or one lousy at-bat with runners in scoring position. So there’s still room for improvement there. In order to benefit from the series win in Milwaukee, they really need to take the doubleheader today and go home with some momentum.
The Pirates’ series wraps up with a twin bill at PNC Park today.
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