Bob Smizik: J-Hay does everything but pitch the ninth

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The summer of J-Hay continues. The legend of Josh Harrison grows.

Do you believe this guy? After throwing out a runner at home in the top of the eighth, an inning in which the Pirates fell behind, 1-0, Harrison tripled home the typing run and then scored the winner.

No, he did not pitch the ninth to earn the save in this 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park.

I tried to keep track of the game as best I could on the day I began my annual vacation on what will hopefully be the sunny beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. As is the case at this time every year, the site takes a step back but doesn't go into full vacation mode. I won't be writing as much, but hopefully as often.

Edinson Volquez, living proof that Neal Huntington did more than nothing in the off-season, pitched an scoreless first seven inning. When he got into a bit of trouble in the eighth, Tony Watson did not bail him out and the Reds took a 1-0 lead.

Volquez ended up with this line: 7 2/3 innings, one run, three hits, three walks and six strikeouts. He's turned into a $5 million bargain.

Mark Melancon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.

The Pirates farm system has taken a heavy dose of criticism this summer for not being able to upgrade the team's bench when injuries hit. That talk was silenced last night.

Andrew Lambo, called up from Indianapolis yesterday, singled to start the rally in the eighth. After Lambo scored on Harrison's triple, Jose Tabata, called up from Indy last week, singled home the game winner.

The Pirates still have a struggle in front of them. But both a Central Division title and, if not that, a wild-card berth, are within reach.


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