Pirates Muzzle Rockies; Rubber Game Sunday


Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Pirates started winning a lot of baseball games in 2013, we couldn’t help but wonder if it was going to be a mirage as it was in 2012. Would things crumble as they did last year, exposing the team’s success as smoke and mirrors? Or could 2013 finally be the year when this team is for real and reaches the playoffs?

On Saturday night the Colorado Rockies got a full dose of why the Pirates are for real. Playing in arguably the toughest division in baseball with the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals looming, the Pirates are playing this weekend with the best record in all of Major League Baseball. They got there by playing quality baseball as they did Saturday night, keeping the Rockies in check from wire to wire en route to a 5-2 victory.

Francisco Liriano delivered a quality start, overcoming five walks to go seven innings and allow no earned runs. The Pirates’ offense delivered timely hits, namely an RBI double from Andrew McCutchen and a home run and a triple from Jose Tabata. Between Liriano and the bullpen the Pirates easily put the Rockies away.

On the Colorado side of things, the primary cause for concern was Jorge De La Rosa‘s ineffectiveness and short outing. When the lefty exited during the 5th inning, everybody’s mind immediately went to his troublesome left thumb. It appears that it wasn’t a contributing factor, and that De La Rosa just had a bad night.

There wasn’t much hope for the offense, as a Wilin Rosario double play in the 8th inning killed the team’s most promising rally. While it is frustrating that the bats could not come up with more, there is some comfort to be found in the fact that they got shut down by a pitching staff that has been shutting everybody down all season.

Juan Nicasio will take the mound opposite AJ Burnett as the Rockies try to win the rubber game on Sunday.