Only the Pirates could make me assume that they would lose when they were winning 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Per fangraphs.com they had an 18.5% chance of losing that game, but I left the gamecast assuming thinking that they would probably lose. Hanrahan has been shaky, the umpire wasn’t giving him the edges of the strike zone (according to the gamecast pitch f/x), and as a Pirate fan I’ve seen far too many bullpen meltdowns. In the end, the Pirates won. Yay.
I am thrilled about James McDonald’s performance. He had a negative FIP tonight (again, according to fangraphs.com). Four hits and a walk over 5.2 innings with 11 strikeouts is an incredible line for a starting pitcher. From the highlight, it looks like he missed on LaRoche’s triple, but not too badly. It was also misplayed. That, to me, signals that his turnaround should continue, which is huge for this Pirate team and its future.