Pirates 10, Nationals 2
The Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t need their All-Star on Sunday. The
closer is superfluous when it’s an eight-run game.
Instead, a pair of maybe-could-have-beens again made the case
that, perhaps, these Pirates are deserving of more attention than
the black-and-gold teams of recent past.
Kevin Correia won his 11th game, and Andrew McCutchen had three
hits to cap a prolific series as Pittsburgh cruised to a 10-2 win
over the Washington Nationals.
Pittsburgh will wake up on the Fourth of July with a winning
record for the first time since 1999. Correia’s nine road victories
are tops in baseball. McCutchen had nine hits, including six for
extra bases, in the four-game series to raise his average to .294.
If they were anyone but the Pirates, perhaps there would be three
All-Stars instead of just reliever Joel Hanrahan, who earned the
team’s lone nod when the selections were announced earlier in the
”It’s up to us to change that,” McCutchen said. ”The majority
of people look at us as just being ‘the Pirates,’ and they’re going
to say it’s ‘the Pirates’ until we show a difference. That’s just
fuel for the fire for us as a team to continue surprising teams
every time we show up. Win a series here, win a series there. Sweep
a team here, sweep a team there. Next thing you know they’re going,
‘Hey, these Pirates are the real deal.”’
Correia (11-6) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to
become the first Pirates pitcher to win 11 games before the
All-Star break since Jim Bibby in 1980. He’s tied for the majors
lead in wins with Jair Jurrjens, Roy Halladay, C.C. Sabathia and
Correia said he was more focused on his start than the All-Star
selection show, but he likes that the club was at least in the mix
for more than one spot.
”We had a few guys that deserved a look, and that’s good,”
Correia said. ”I don’t think this team’s had that in the past.
It’s been ‘a guy’s got to make it, so a guy goes.”’
Pittsburgh’s 10 runs matched a season-high as the club moved two
games over .500 for the ninth time this season, where they keep
hitting a barrier that so far has stopped them cold. They are 0-8
when trying to get to three games over.
The Pirates were due for a laugher after playing mostly tight
ones for much of the season. They scored three in the first, five
in the second. McCutchen had three hits and would have had four
were it not for Roger Bernadina’s diving catch on the warning track
in the left field corner.
”It’s nice for the bats to show up and have a feel-good day on
offense,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. ”But I think
we’re built more for the other. I don’t know how many more of these
we’ll get, but when we get ’em we’ll take ’em.”
The Pirates battered Jason Marquis (7-3), who lost for the first
time in eight starts. He lasted only 1 1-3 innings, allowing seven
runs and eight hits as the Nationals again fell below .500 and
dropped to 2-5 under manager Davey Johnson. Washington has already
allowed 10 or more runs twice under Johnson, matching the number
times it happened in 78 games under Jim Riggleman and John
”I don’t like to get beat,” Johnson said. ”It wasn’t any fun
Jayson Werth left the game after getting hit on the left arm by
a pitch in the sixth. He continued to struggle at the plate,
striking out with two outs and two men on base in the first and
flying out to center with a runner on base in the third to drop his
batting average to .223. The fans’ tepid reaction was much kinder
than it was on Saturday, when he was booed loudly during the second
game of a doubleheader.
Werth declined to speak to reporters for the second straight
day. Johnson said Werth is sore and will probably miss a day or
Such nagging injuries are a mounting problem for the Nationals.
Michael Morse, the team’s best hitter, sat out Sunday with a
bruised forearm and will likely miss Monday’s game as well.
”I’m real concerned about it,” Johnson said. ”Nobody’s 100
NOTES: There wasn’t much of a feeling that Hanrahan and Tyler
Clippard would be future All-Stars when they were part of the
Nationals bullpen in 2008 and 2009. On Sunday, they both were named
to the NL squad. Hanrahan has tied a Pirates record with 24
consecutive converted save chances. ”It is kind of ironic,”
Hanrahan said. ”I went into that (Washington) clubhouse plenty of
times hanging my head, looking for answers, trying to figure out
where my career was going – really searching for everything. To be
here now, riding high, hearing the announcement I made the All-Star
team – that’s really a good feeling.” Clippard didn’t figure he’d
have much of a shot because he’s a setup man, but he has 57
strikeouts, 15 walks and a 1.96 ERA for the Nationals. He has
allowed only 6 of 31 inherited runners to score. ”I knew there was
maybe an outside shot,” Clippard said. ”But I didn’t really take
it seriously and maybe that’s probably a good thing.” … Morse
will be on a fan ballot to determine the final NL All-Star spot.
… The Pirates sent RHP Brad Lincoln to Triple-A Indianapolis and
recalled RHP Chris Leroux. … Nationals 43-year-old first baseman
Matt Stairs beat out an infield hit in the first inning. He was
starting in the field for the first time since April 12.