Saturday, May 5, 2012

Game 26: Pirates vs. Reds Recap

Kevin Correia pitched seven innings Friday night. Please don't mistake that for meaning that he pitched well enough to last that long. The only reason he remained in the game is because the bullpen has been taxed since the last time Correia took to mound and lasted less than five innings. To put it nicely, he was awful in a 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds and the offense didn't do a whole lot to help the cause.

Correia had an eight pitch first inning and retired the side in order but his hot start ended no later than the second inning. Jay Bruce, a renowned Pirate killer, hit a one out double and later advanced to third. Chris Heisey attempted the rare two out bunt and it worked well. Correia's only half decent play would have been to get Bruce at home plate but he instead went to first where he had no chance.

Heisey came back to haunt Correia again in the fourth inning. Again, the damage on Correia came with two outs. Heisey hit a triple and came in to score when Ryan Hanigan followed with a double.

Pedro Alvarez cut the Reds' lead in half an inning later. After Nate McLouth and Neil Walker hit back to back singles to lead off the inning, Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to left field. That would be the only offense for the Bucs. Johnny Cueto ultimately threw a complete game.

Any momentum that the Pirates may have gained after scoring ended the second Correia came back on to the mound. Zack Cozart led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a ground out. That one single led to what would be more offense with two outs in an inning. Brandon Phillips brought Cozart in with a two out single to extend the lead back to two.

Everything fell apart for Correia in his final inning of work. Cozart and Drew Stubbs hit home runs on back to back pitches. Bruce added another home run in the eighth inning off of reliever Chris Resop.

Correia was supposed to make his exit from the starting rotation once A.J. Burnett and Charlie Morton made their way back from injuries. The only reason that he is still in it is because of the injury to Jeff Karstens. Fortunately, Karstens has began throwing again and hopefully will progress quickly. Correia is the weakest link in a rotation that has struggled for the better part of the past week.

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