Wednesday, April 18, 2012
To say that the bats came alive in Arizona tonight would not really be an accurate statement. The bats did come alive, but it were really bats that already had some life in them. The offense was carried by McCutchen, Walker, and Jones. The trio went 10-14 and had all five RBI.
McCutchen is clearly on fire and seeing the ball extremely well. He is locked into one of those zones. Walker as well has been hitting well recently and playing in Arizona, with that hitter's back drop, seems to have really given him some life. He has hit the ball hard this whole series.
Seeing Jones go deep was a good sign tonight, as was the fact that he went the other way twice with big hits as well. The Pirates are going to be facing a bunch of righties in the next stretch, so seeing Jones start well, could be a good sign.
The bottom of the order continues to be a huge hole, as Barajas (.074), Alvarez (.042) and Barmes (.091) continue to hurt the team. One note, Pedro did drive a ball well the other way, but Chris Young made a great play on it.
The other story of the game was that Jeff Karstens left after only one inning pitched, leaving the rest of the game to the bullpen. He is going to be re-evaluated in Pittsburgh, but has shoulder soreness/stiffness. What that is, who knows. AJ Burnett has one more minor league start at least on Saturday in Altoona, so he may end up replacing Karstens, but the team might need a fill in in the mean time.
It is too early to really speculate, but if Karstens were to miss time, the club might be forced to bring up a guy for a spot start, while waiting for Burnett.