Notes and quotes from Wednesday's postgame:
Pair of Homers: McCutchen stays in yard, Martin leaves it
In the top of the fifth, with Phillies leading 3-2, Andrew McCutchen hit a drive to deep left-center field, not far from where Starling Marte hit his fan interference double Tuesday night. Ben Revere charged after the ball and attempted a leaping catch, but the ball hit a couple feet above this glove and ricocheted back into centerfield. By the time right fielder Grady Sizemore retrieved the ball, McCutchen was close to third and ended up scoring easily.
"That's a crazy type of outfield with that ledge," Clint Hurdle said. "Marte's hit two balls that are out in most parks. [McCutchen] hit one that [Revere] tried to get and he got the carom you need to get for [an inside-the-park home run]. It basically split the defense and with his speed it was a pretty easy finish."
"I put the pedal to the metal and got there," McCutchen said. "As soon as it hit the wall I knew I had a good chance."
After Neil Walker grounded out, Russell Martin put the Pirates ahead for good by burying a solo home run deep over the left field wall. Martin ended the game with three RBIs.
"We've shown the ability to battle back in games when we've been underneath," Hurdle said. "We've shown the ability to grind out at bats. We had some opportunities to create more separation, and when we don't get it we just keep playing."
The LaFromboise and Holdzkom bridge
The Pirates latest additions to the bullpen provided a nice bridge over the sixth and seventh innings to the Pirates' late inning firm of Watson - Melancon.
With the Pirates up 6-3, Bobby LaFromboise pitched a clean sixth inning, throwing only 11 pitches and picking up two strike outs along the way. John Holdzkom also went clean. He threw only 10 pitches and added a strikeout. He now has seven strikeouts in four innings pitched.
"They've shown really good poise and rhythm," Hurdle said of LaFromboise and Holdzkom. "We feel [LaFromboise] is more than a left-on-left guy. ... Holdzkom's been very impressive since he's been here."
Hurdle was coy when asked if both pitchers might see an increased workload down the stretch: "Just keep showing up and watching, you'll see what we do out there."
Tony Watson and Mark Melancon closed the game out pitching two perfect innings. For the night, Pirates relievers threw four innings without allowing a hit or walk and struck out six.
Worley grinds through five
Vance Worley didn't have his best stuff in his return Citizens Bank Park but, similar to Edinson Volquez's start last night, he pushed to the middle innings and kept the Pirates in the game. Worley allowed four hits and three runs in five innings pitched.
"He did the best he could with what he had," Hurdle said. "Really had to battle ... He gave us what we needed to get us to the bullpen and we thought we could close down from there."
"Overall, my stuff was sloppy," Worley said. "The ball did the opposite of what I wanted it to do. It seemed like my four seam was sinking and my slider was cutting. My curveballs were nowhere near the zone, and if I threw my cutter right it was five feet short. I just had to find a way to keep battling ... These guys picked me up tonight and got me some runs."
Marte remains hot
Starling Marte continued his post-concussion disabled list offensive tear, going 2-4 with a double and one RBI. Marte's pre-and-post DL numbers are night and day.
Pre-DL: .255/.328/.385, 27 K%
Post-DL: .362/.425/.598, 17 K%
Hurdle attributes Marte's offensive outburst to an approach that stresses getting his foot down early, which keeps his body and, most importantly, his head still.
"It started when he came back from the DL," Hurdle said. "He worked hard to be in a better offensive position. As the ball is coming to him he's not late ... One of the caveats of hitting is head positioning, head quietness. Marte is really quiet in the box right. [The foot down early] steadies the whole body, hands are over the back leg. Just in a really strong position to hit."