Greetings friends, fellow sociopath Pirates fans. After yesterday afternoon's meltdown, I needed to a little hope to cheer me up. So I did what any Pirates fan would do, I drove to Trenton, to catch last night's Thunder vs. Curve clash. Before I attempt to recall the events from last evening, I should recant that it was 2 dollar beer night (I love the minors) and it was quite hot out, which when combined with my lack of legitimate training as a scout will likely lead to this post holding minimal value to you. Still reading? Great.
So last night's starters were Jeff Locke and Kei Igawa (yes the guy who signed for 26 million dollars is pitching in AA and he has a sense of humor about it since he wears the number 26). The Curve lineup was without Starling Marte, but Brock Holt, Quincy Lattimore, Tony Sanchez, Jordy Mercer and Matt Curry were in the lineup. Igawa looked dominat in the first inning, and Locke was a bit erratic with his command. After 1 the game was tied at zero and Matt Curry came up to lead off the top of 2. At this point, I was only on beer number 3 so I think I said something witty to cheer him on. He responded by hitting a moonshot bomb. When I say bomb I mean this thing was hit so hard the rightfielder for the Thunder didn't bother chasing it and it easily cleared the double high fence in right center.
In the bottom of 2, more command issues from Locke. He beaned a guy, walked the bases loaded and then gave up a sac fly. Tony Sanchez went out settled him down and he then k'd a guy and got a taylor made double play ball to minimize the damage. Igawa responded with his only 1-2-3 inning of the game, but mostly due to the fact that he was facing organizational players such as Greg Picart, Jose Hernandez etc. During that inning, the pitching coach gave Locke an earful and told him if he put the ball in the strike zone, the Thunder wouldn't be able to touch him.
Locke then for lack of a better word shut them down from that point on. Kei Igawa however, gave up two more bombs, back to back jacks by Quincy Lattimore and Jordy Mercer. It was almost back-to-back-to-back, but Curry hit a ball to the deepest part of the park which hit just below the yellow line (416 ft) for a double. That pretty much sums it up offensively as Locke shut them down until the 6th, when Diego Moreno came in and started striking out everybody. I went behind home plate, his heater is a blur, and the Thunder couldn't catch up. He had a change up going too to keep them off guard.
As a final thought I will say that the absoulute highlights were seeing Starling Marte coach 1st base (he did this all game) and McSwain's bullpen bag which was a my little princess pink suitcase that was loaded with redbull and other assorted random bullpen things. If you get a chance, go see this team play. Now that they have Morris back and Curry up, they can steamroll some people. I will say, look for Tony Sanchez to struggle a bit, since he's protecting Curry, and has noone hitting behind him. this team is nasty 1-6 in the lineup, but there's nothing behind it.