|Ivan's working through a rough patch of late (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
The Bucs got the first two aboard in the seventh; didn't help. Wade LeBlanc tossed a quiet frame. Joaquin Benoit and Wade exchanged clean eighth innings. Hector Neris tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, sealing the Pirates fourth straight loss to the two teams with the NL's worst records.
The Pirates are pretty much poster children for dysfunction now. When they get pitching, the hitting disappears and vice-versa; the bullpen is shutdown when the team's behind but can't hang on to a lead, and the team is carrying six first basemen and catchers. The FO knows the holes in the club and should know Marte returning won't patch them. Que sera, sera.
- The Bucs had four hits, but left more runners aboard (6) than Philly (3). Long balls make up for a multitude of sins, especially when they're not solo shots.
- Both dingers off Ivan were first-pitch fastballs, maybe indicative that's he's falling into a pattern, or maybe indicative of bad location. Either way, he might want to switch up the mix a bit.
- Go figure - the Bucs are 6-7 against the division leaders (Milwaukee, Washington & LA) but 3-11 against the last place clubs (Cincinnati, Philadelphia and San Fran).