Pirates Vs. Braves: Offense Sputters Once Again In 5-2 Defeat

The Pirates are enjoying their first winning season in nearly two decades. The Braves are now as healthy as they've been all season. Who has the advantage in this week's series?

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Pirates Vs. Braves Final Score: David Ross Walk Off Hit Gives Atlanta Second Straight Extra Innings Win

David Ross delivered a one out single in the tenth inning scoring the game winning run for the Braves who defeated the Pirates for the second straight night in extra innings by a score of 2-1. Scott Linebrink gets the win in relief of Jair Jurrjens who pitched seven strong innings while allowing the sole Pittsburgh run.

With the game tied 1-1 entering the 10th, Nate McLouth led off the inning with a single to right. After a Martin Prado fly out, Freddie Freeman put runners at the corners with a single of his own. Pittsburgh then intentionally walked Dan Uggla to load the bases setting the stage for Ross who lined the first pitch he saw into left field for the game winning hit.

Neither team was able to produce that timely hit. Atlanta banged out 14 hits in the game but was just 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position.  Pittsburgh scored its lone run of the game in the sixth inning thanks to a Garrett Jones homer to right center field. Atlanta answered right back in the bottom half of the inning with another RBI single by Ross that scored Prado. 

Jair Jurrjens gave the Braves seven solid innings which was important coming off of the 19 inning affair the night before. Jurrjens allowed six hits and three walks while striking out four on the night. Eric O'Flaherty, Craig Kimbrel, and Scott Linebrink each pitched scoreless innings in relief. 

Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla each finished the game with three hits apiece. Nate McLouth, Martin Prado, David Ross, and Alex Gonzalez each finished the game with two hits. Chipper Jones pinch hit to lead off the ninth inning and grounded out to shortstop. 

Atlanta closes out the series with the Pirates tomorrow with Derek Lowe matching up against Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia

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Pirates Vs. Braves: Atlanta Wins On Jerry Meals Blown Call

Tuesday night's game was the wildest baseball game I've ever watched, and it featured arguably the most controversial call in Major League history to end a game. Sure, there have been blown calls in games bigger than the one on Tuesday night, but perhaps none of those will be as revolutionary and game-changing as Jerry Meals' call was in the nineteenth inning.

Here it is, in live time:


And here is a picture:

Replay_medium

After many, many looks at various camera angles, Julio Lugo was indeed tagged out, though just barely. The tag barely grazed Lugo's right pant leg before touching the plate. It should have been the second out of the inning, but Meals called him safe and the game was over. 

Watching the game live, I couldn't believe what had just transpired. The reaction was similar to when Jim Joyce ruined Armando Galarraga's perfect game last season. 

Here was the umpire's explanation on the call:

"I saw the tag, but he looked like he oléd him and I called him safe for that. I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened I didn't see a tag.

"I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg."

I have a feeling this will be just the start of a lot of uproar surrounding the call. Will it finally bring instant replay to Major League Baseball? Who knows. But it is time to seriously consider it.

The Braves won their 60th game of the season with tonight's victory, which was the longest game in franchise history. The two teams will meet up once again Wednesday evening at 7:10EDT. It'll be Paul Maholm against Jair Jurrjens.

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Pirates Vs. Braves Final Score: Chipper Homers In Return, Atlanta Falls 3-1

The Atlanta Braves are getting plenty of runners on base the last two weeks. Scoring those runners, though, has been a problem. And once again on Monday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Braves struggled to cash in with runners in scoring position.

Atlanta left nine runners on base and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. On the contrary, Pittsburgh left just five runners on base and went 2-for-7 with RISP. That was the difference in the game. Well, that, and James McDonald's curveball which had our hitters looking foolish all game.

Chipper Jones' solo-home run in the eighth inning was the lone run the Braves would score. The Pirates had a lead of 2-0 after just two innings on an RBI-groundout from Ronny Cedeno and RBI-single from Michael McKenry in consecutive at-bats. Andrew McCutchen drove in their third run of the game with a line drive single up the middle that skirted away from Nate McLouth in center field.

Atlanta entered the ninth trailing 3-1 and faced the Pirates All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan. Alex Gonzalez lined out sharply, Julio Lugo struck out in a pitch in the dirt and Martin Prado ended the game with a fly out to center field.

The Braves are now 4-6 in their last ten games, which is their worst mark since mid-May. Simply put, things aren't going right for Atlanta right now.

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Pirates Vs. Braves Series Preview: A Battle Of Two Playoff Teams

Well, two playoff teams if the season ended today. Who would have thunk it?

The Pittsburgh Pirates come into Atlanta with a half-game lead in the NL Central, thanks largely in part to a few guys having breakout seasons. Whether or not they'll be able to maintain pace with the Brewers and Cardinals remains to be seen, but they've been a great story nonetheless.

This series preview is going to be a little different than previous ones. We like to keep it fresh here at SB Nation Atlanta.

Player to watch out for:

Andrew McCutchen

#22 / Center Field / Pittsburgh Pirates

5-10

190

R

R

Oct 10, 1986

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2011 - Andrew McCutchen 97 361 55 101 23 4 14 59 53 71 15 5 .280 .378 .482

Andrew McCutchen hasn't really been named by an national media outlets as an MVP candidate, but he should be considering the team he's on and just how good he's been in center field. The 24-year old outfielder has been the best player on the Pirates and has been a 4.6 fWAR player this season. Without him, Pittsburgh isn't 52-47 and in contention for their first playoff spot since 1994.

Who's Hot:

Neil Walker

#18 / Second Base / Pittsburgh Pirates

6-3

215

B

R

Sep 10, 1985

Last 14 days: .314/.368/.475, 131 wRC+

Neil Walker has been good all season, but he's been especially impressive since the All-Star Game. The second baseman is enjoying a breakout season at the plate and currently leads the team with 62 RBI and is tied for second with nine home runs. The Braves will need to cool Walker's bat if they hope to win the series.

Pitching Matchups:

Monday, 7:10EDT - ESPN

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Hudson 9-6 20 20 1 1 0 0 127.1 112 55 48 9 32 91 3.39 1.13
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - James McDonald 6-4 18 19 0 0 0 0 104.0 108 51 48 13 52 85 4.15 1.54


Tuesday, 7:10EDT - SportSouth

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tommy Hanson 11-5 19 19 0 0 0 0 114.2 85 42 39 11 38 124 3.06 1.07
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jeff Karstens 8-5 21 17 1 1 0 0 114.2 100 37 29 17 19 61 2.28 1.04

 

Wednesday, 7:10EDT - SportSouth

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jair Jurrjens 12-3 18 18 2 1 0 0 121.2 105 35 33 8 30 80 2.44 1.11
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Paul Maholm 6-10 21 21 1 1 0 0 132.2 120 53 48 10 45 80 3.26 1.24


Thursday, 7:10EDT - SportSouth

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Derek Lowe 6-8 22 22 0 0 0 0 124.1 129 63 62 7 45 84 4.49 1.40
W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Kevin Correia 11-8 22 21 1 0 0 0 127.1 136 69 62 16 30 65 4.38 1.30


In the 'pen:

Joel Hanrahan

#52 / Pitcher / Pittsburgh Pirates

6-4

245

R

R

Oct 06, 1981

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Joel Hanrahan 0-1 43 0 0 0 28 1 44.2 33 7 6 1 8 38 1.21 .92

Joel Hanrahan is to the Pirates as Jonny Venters AND Craig Kimbrel are to the Braves. He's been excellent this season in the ninth inning for Pittsburgh and he was rewarded with an All-Star Game selection.

Outside of Hanrahan, the bullpen is pretty average. Guys like Chris Resop, Jose Veras, Daniel McCutchen and Joe Beimel have all been decent this year, though each of their main cogs in the 'pen can be scored on.

Series Outlook...

The Pirates are a good team enjoying their best season in nearly two decades. They're desperate to win. With a half-game lead in the NL Central, they give the opposition a fight each night of the week. The Braves should expect to different.

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