David talks with the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Neal Huntington.
COMMENTARY | Jeff Locke held the Houston Astros scoreless through seven innings Sunday, just long enough for Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli to come in and shut the door like they have so many times this season. It was a masterful performance for the young pup of the rotation, even if it was against the worst team in baseball. The feat marks the third time this season Locke has held opponents scoreless during an outing, a trend that Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers are accomplishing at a rapid rate so far.
The Pirates have already recorded six shutouts in 44 games played this season, a result of solid starting efforts and a dominant bullpen. Indeed, the team's six shutouts rank only one behind the league-leading seven held by both the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals, both first place teams.
Even the casual baseball fan knows that it's impossible to lose a game when the opponent doesn't score a single run. The Pirates have thus far racked up the shutouts, but the team is also excelling in other low-scoring games.
PITTSBURGH -- Lucas Harrell threw 98 pitches Sunday, and most were very good.
One of his best, though, was met by a better swing, and that's all it takes to beat the Houston Astros these days.
Pedro Alvarez's drive down the left field line for an opposite-field home run was one of just four hits allowed by Harrell in seven innings of the Astros' 1-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"It was a sinker down and away," Harrell said of the Pirates' first ball out of the infield, with one out in the fifth. "I thought it was a really good pitch. He went down and got it. He's a big, strong guy and he slapped it out the other way. There's not much you can do about that."