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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Game 44 Recap: Karstens, Walker Lead Pirates to Win

5 RBI from Walker put the Pirates on top.

Nice outing from Jeff Karstens. Nice offensive display from the Pirates. And a big crowd too. Make it three straight wins for the Pirates.

Karstens limited the Tigers to three hits and no walks over six innings. He was perfect through four innings. He gave up a lead off homer to Ramon Santiago in the sixth that knotted the score at one. One out later Austin Jackson doubled. What looked like it might be the end worked out fine as Karstens retired Scott Sizemore and Brennan Boesch. Daniel McCutchen, Chris Resop, and Jose Ascanio finished with an inning of scoreless relief each.

The Pirates took the lead off Brad Penny in the fourth. Ryan Doumit singled in Jose Tabata with the first run of the game. After Santiago’s dinger tied it in the sixth, the Pirates wasted no time in jumping on Penny in the home half of the sixth. Lyle Overbay led off with a homer to break the tie. One out later Brandon Wood walked. He moved to third on a single from Ronny Cedeno. Matt Diaz pinch hit for Karstens and forced Cedeno at second, with Wood scoring on the play. Andrew McCutchen drew a two out walk that ended Penny’s evening. Brayan Villareal relieved and walked Jose Tabata to load the bases. Garrett Jones doubled in two runs and Walker followed with a two run double of his own. The Pirates were up 7-1 when Overbay – who started the inning with a homer – ended the inning with an out.

Walker hit a three run homer off Jose Valverde in the eighth with Tabata and Jones aboard to make it 10-1.

Karstens allowed just the one run on three hits and no walks in six innings. He did it in a tidy 75 pitches. Penny went 5-2/3 and gave up five runs. He gave up six hits and walked five.

The Good

The offense

Tabata, Jones and Walker each had two hits. Tabata scored three times.

The pitching staff allowed no walks.

A three game winning streak.

The Bad
Other than a harmless error from McCutchen, not much.

The Rest
The Pirates drew a crowd of 20,000 plus for just the second time in May.

Five RBI is a career high for Walker. He has driven in four or more runs four times now.

This was the first time in 2011 that the Pirates gave up zero walks.

Karstens beat the Tigers for the first time in two career starts. Penny is now 4-3 against Pittsburgh. The Pirates had not beaten him since 2003.

Ten runs is a season high for the Pirates.

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 Great game last night.  Amazing to see Karstens perfect through 4 2/3 given the number of hard hit balls – thankfully, directly at the Pirates infielders.  Walker is just something special, hard not to love what he brings to the plate and in the field.  In the field, he’s looking at lot more at ease and fluid.

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