Henderson Alvarez dominated the Pirates Friday night as they fell 2-0 to the Marlins.
Jeff Locke had another start where he kept runs off the board but made me want to say bad things about Jeff Locke. He struck out nine but constantly had baserunners aboard, thanks in part to six walks. At one point, Greg Brown mused that walks were simply going to be part of Locke's game, and I certainly hope not, because over time, lineups better than the Marlins will really give Locke trouble.
Anyway, credit where credit is due -- Locke struck out nine. He gave up a run in the sixth when he loaded the bases (thanks to two walks), and then allowed an infield single to Placido Polanco. Then in the seventh, he threw a high fastball to Giancarlo Stanton, and it landed somewhere in Barbados or something. So ... whatever.
Obviously, though, Locke only allowed two runs, so he wasn't the problem, and that's even if you grant that he didn't really pitch all that well, which I expect most of you won't. Anyway, I think we all agree that he's just fine where he is, and the same can't be said for a few of the Pirates' hitters. The Bucs managed five hits, only one of them for extra bases. That extra-base hit was a double by Gaby Sanchez in the eighth; he was followed by Travis Snider and Michael McKenry, who, unsurprisingly, couldn't bring him home. Then, Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez hit back-to-back singles in the ninth, and up came ... oh, great, Jose Tabata. Captain Groundout to the rescue!
That was mean, I know. The loss was a team effort, clearly -- the heart of the Pirates' order got owned by A.J. Ramos in the seventh, and before that, pretty much everyone had problems against Henderson Alvarez. So it wasn't just the usual suspects who struggled. But the loss underscored how much another hitter would help this team.