Teheran pitched a gem yesterday, and came within 4 outs of the first no-hitter since Kent Mercker in 1994. As it was, the Pirates broke it up in the 8th with a pinch hit single by Inge, and Julio had to settle for a ho-hum 8 inning no-run effort. Yawn. I mean he walked two guys after all, and hit two guys. Plus he only struck out 11. I mean really Julio. We expect more. Oh you went first pitch strikes to 23/28 batters? I suppose that will do.
The hitting in this series has been effectively awful. What do I mean by that? Well, the Braves had another day where they scored 5 runs, and went 0-9 with RISP, stranding 9 guys. In terms of timely hitting all series, the Braves only went 2-29 with RISP, yet they scored 17 runs. I have no idea how we pulled that off, other than a lot of bombs with guys standing on first base, and a lot of plays where people scored on outs or errors. So while the hitting has been effective, it's also been awful in efficiency. Sometimes you're not going to get 29 chances in a series. Sometimes you're only going to get 18-20, and you better take advantage of those chances against the better teams.
Gattis and Laird went yard in the game, making a combo of back to back catcher power. Both homers were to left, and Gattis planted one way up in the terrace section at 426 feet. All of this was possible because Wandy Rodriguez left the game after 14 pitches with forearm tightness. If he stays in the game, who knows what happens? As it stands, the Pirates already beleaguered bullpen had to man the wall for an entire game. That almost never happens, and when it does you have to rely on your offense to bail you out. The problem for them was that Julio wasn't going to allow that, as he barely allowed any baserunners.
The Pirates ended up using 5 pitchers in the game, and Bryan Morris did the yeoman's work for 3.2 innings after Wandy left the game. Morris didn't surrender a single hit either, so you had Julio and Bryan dueling each other for the first half. Part of the reason the game lasted less than 3 hours was due to that back and forth dominate pitching. I will give credit to the crowd for showing up for the day game in solid numbers, over 28k in total attendance. Those businessman's specials seem to have a good draw for people taking the day off before the brutal summer heat. I doubt we'd see that same number for a day game in late July.
There were 3 errors in the game, all committed by Pirates. The Braves finally got a clean sheet after several games in a row of Benny Hill baseball. We needed to stop the bleeding in the field since we head to play a team like the Dodgers, because you can't afford to give bad teams hope. They will fold up and mentally leave the ballpark if you step on them early, but if you kick the ball around the infield and don't score until the 6th inning, that keeps a bunch of scrubs in the game. Preview of that 4 game series after lunch.