Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recap: You Need to Score to Win

Bucs fall to the Phils 1-0

WP: Roy Halladay (1-0)
LP: Erik Bedard (0-1)

Many people wondered if Erik Bedard would step up as the number 1 guy in the rotation with A.J. Burnett injured. He did, but unfortunately, the bats did not, as the Pirates dropped a tough one in the opener, 1-0.

In front of a capacity crowd of 39,585, the game started off well enough. Bedard pitched a scoreless first inning. Back to back singles by Alex Presley and Jose Tabata put the Bucs in a good position to strike first, but Andrew McCutchen grounded into a double play and Neil Walker flew out to left to end the threat. Unfortunately, that was about it for the Bucs on offense today. They didn’t manage a single hit throughout the rest of the game, as Doc Halladay was near flawless. Their only other opportunity was on a Clint Barmes fly out deep to left that came within feet of clearing the wall, which would have given the Bucs the lead at the time.

If this were any other game, the pitching staff would have done well enough to easily win. But with the lack of offensive production, the quality start by Bedard and relief appearances by Chris Resop and Juan Cruz went to waste. Bedard went 7 strong innings, surrendering just 1 run on 6 hits. The only run came on a Carlos Ruiz sac fly, which was preceded by a single by Ty Wiggington and a double by John Mayberry Jr. Had Tabata’s throw home on the sac fly been on line, the score may have remained tied, as Wiggington just barely beat the throw home. Pirates pitchers combined for 8 strikeouts today, which is a plus.

Resop and Cruz threw an inning apiece and both recorded 2 strikeouts and 1 hit. Halladay threw 8 spotless innings, allowing just the 2 first inning hits, while recording 5 strikeouts. Jonathan Papelbon came on for the ninth and recorded the 3 out save. And that was that.

All in all, we saw many good things from the pitching and defense, but the bats didn’t show up. Once the offense comes around, we could have a good thing going for us if the rest of the rotation is able to perform like Bedard did today.

Three Stars:
3) John Mayberry Jr (2-4, 2K)
2) Carlos Ruiz (3-3, GW RBI)
1) Roy Halladay (8 IP, 2H, 5K)