Pirates' pitchers face the minimum 27 batters in win over Braves
A trio of Pirates pitchers faced the minimum 27 batters in the team's shutout win over the Braves on Friday night.
Coming into Friday, the Braves led all of baseball in home runs (29) and were hitting a stout .257/.332/.473 as a team. They also had baseball's best record at 13-2. That's why what the Pirates did in the second game of the series was so impressive.
Left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez and righty relievers Mark Melancon and Vin Mazzaro combined to allow just two singles in nine innings, and because both runners were erased on ground-ball double plays, they faced the minimum 27 batters in the win. Pittsburgh's hurlers threw a grand total of two (!) pitches with men on base.
The last time a team faced the minimum 27 batters in a nine-inning, non-perfect game/no-hitter was back in September 2008, and it involved these same Pirates. Astros ace Roy Oswalt allowed three singles in the complete-game win over the Bucs, and all three runners were erased on ground-ball double plays by the very next batter. He threw nine pitches with men on base in that game.
Another oddity: the Braves remain undefeated when they score a run this year. They have baseball's best record at 13-3 and all three losses were shutouts. The Phillies, Royals, and now Pirates have done the honors.