The Pirates allowed seven walks on Saturday, but somehow held the Reds to one run, and walked away with a 3-1 win. The Reds stung a number of hard-hit balls right at Pirates fielders, as well -- the Bucs either had extraordinary positioning or extraordinary luck. It wouldn't have been hard to imagine the Reds scoring six or seven runs tonight.
Jeff Locke walked four and struck out none in five innings, though he recorded an impressive 10 ground ball outs. He allowed a run in the third on a homer by Zack Cozart. But the Pirates tied the game the following inning. Andrew McCutchen walked, then came all the way around to score when non-CF Shin-Soo Choo misplayed Garrett Jones' hit to the left-center gap, diving to cut it off before he actually got to it. It's always gratifying to see a team's bad decisions come back to bite them.
Pirate-killer Johnny Cueto left in the fifth inning with an injury, and the Bucs took advantage immediately. Reds reliever Alfredo Simon allowed a single to the first batter he faced (Travis Snider), and Clint Barmes and Starling Marte followed up with singles of their own to score Snider. In the seventh, Jose Tabata added an RBI double of his own for an insurance run. With Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli pitching the eighth and ninth, though, the Pirates didn't need it, and they held on to win by two.
A couple notes:
-P- Obviously, a lot can happen to change the outcome of this trade, but is there anyone who wouldn't accept a one-time, take-it-or-leave-it swap of Joel Hanrahan for Mark Melancon right now? Like, one-for-one?
-P- I wrote a big piece for MLBTR about why early-season trades aren't more common.