Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Reds Pound Punchless Pirates 7-1

For the fourth game in a row, the Bucs managed to put up one run over nine innings, and suffered their fourth loss in a row 7-1 to the Reds. Jeff Locke wasn't sharp early on, giving up homers to Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd, but calmed down and put up zeroes from the fourth through the seventh frames.  The game was 4-1 going into the ninth when Antonio Bastardo threw a little gas on the fire while running his ERA up to 7.50, with a two-out dribbler by Billy Hamilton being the back breaker.

The Bucs had chances, but not a ton of luck, as often is the case during these dry spells. They only collected three hits, one being Starling Marte's seventh homer, but drew seven walks. They left the bases loaded in the fourth when Jung-Ho Kang lined out, got the first two aboard in the seventh (Jordy lined out and Corey Hart came of the bench to bang into a DP) and left the bases jammed again in the ninth when Aroldis Chapman walked three and whiffed three, his two true outcomes.

A Marte party was the Bucs only celebration last night (photo: Charles LeClair/USA Today)

Still, there were nine more Pirate runners stranded and another 0-fer with RISP. As Cutch said to the media after the game "I’m sick and tired of going 0-for-freaking-4." Hope the other guys in the room share that sentiment.As we've noted, it's not all ineptitude, as they've hit a lot of at 'em balls and have an unfortunate BABIP, but they still miss a lot of pitches that they should be squaring up on; note that pull %. All we can say for sure is the top five batters for the Reds had 10 hits; the first five for Pittsburgh had two.

Sadly, this is beginning to look a lot like last year's stumble from the gate, with the Bucs digging themselves a hole against Central Division teams. Except for the hapless Brewers, Pittsburgh is 0-4 v Cincy, 0-3 v St. Louis and 3-4 v Chicago. That makes for a rough row to hoe over the summer.

Gerrit Cole and Mike Leake hook up tonight.

  • The last three runs the Pirates have scored have been the result of solo homers; the last time they got a RBI hit was on Saturday, when Josh Harrison singled home a run. 
  • The game could have been mailed in lots earlier; with the bases loaded and no outs in the second, Neil Walker made a diving grab of a ball headed into the outfield, flipped to Jordy, and Mercer's spinarama throw completed the DP.
  • Marlon Byrd is first player in PNC Park history to homer in the yard for four different teams - the Cubs, Bucs, Phils and now the Reds.
  • Mike Lorenzen notched his first MLB win last night. 
  • The Cards are red-hot with a 20-6 record. The Bucs are already eight games behind them after being just 3-1/2 games back on Friday. 
  • Charlie Morton, after a bullpen session yesterday, is now slated to make a rehab start with Altoona on Friday.

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