Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bats Still On Break, Bucs Fall 2-1

They started an hour and forty minutes late; guess they forgot to wake up the Buc batters when the game finally began.

The short version was the Bucs got a solo homer from Pedro; the Athletics got a two out, two run homer from Brandon Moss on a hung change after John Jaso doubled by rolling a ball away from a shift.. It wasn't like last night, when the Pirates had runners on but no clutch karma. Tonight, two guys reached second - Starling Marte, who singled and stole second with two outs in the third, and Pedro, who led off the seventh with a walk and was bunted to second.

So no point in belaboring the obvious; the Pirates need some help at the plate. In this age of advanced metrics and all, one counting number stands out: 343. That's the number of runs the Pirates have scored, and it's 26th in MLB. We've harped on their RISP number of .228, but when the team average is just .242, you really can't expect too much more.

But there was a bright side. Gerrit Cole went seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out four. He was in two or three jams, but picked up a whiff when he needed it and a grounder when called for, with two DP behind him. Cole showed much more of his changeup last night, and even though one got lost in the seats, it's a great go-to along with his heater and slurvy thing. With only six starts under his belt, he's starting to learn how to pitch rather than throw, a process he began at Indy, and that's quite impressive given his age and experience.  

Let's just hope we don't have to spend much longer looking for silver linings.

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