Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pirates Fall Short Again 5-3

Jin Niese tossed a 1-2-3 opener;  Albert Saurez was his own worst enemy early. He plunked JJ, who swapped spots at first with Josh after a force. Harrison went to third when a pickoff try went way bad and plated on Gregory's sac fly. The second was clean for Jon. The Bucs led off with a walk to Matt Joyce, then Jordy's hit-and-run knock put Buccos on the corners, but the bottom end of the order whiffed to squander the promising start.

Gregory chased home a pair of Buc runs (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Pirates can't seem to help it; Niese walked a pair around a single in the third, and Joe Panik tripled the runners home (a ball that Polanco had all sorts of problems with in center) and came home following another knock. The Bucs answered. JJ singled, Josh tripled and another Gregory sac fly fly made it 4-3 after three. The next two frames were calm, with the teams trading hits in the fourth and going down in order in the fifth. Mac Williamson led off the sixth with a homer ( c'mon, ya knew Jon had to dish one up), and left a couple more Giants stranded. George Kontos took the bump for SF and tossed a clean frame. AJ Schugel and Hunter Strickland exchanged three up, three down performances in the seventh.

Arquimedes Caminero took the ball in the eighth, and a single-DP-pop up sequence earned him a 1-2-3 frame. Cory Gearrin tucked away the heart of the Bucco order. Arquie gave up a harmless single in the ninth. In came Santiago Casilla. Joyce K'ed on a check swing; he offered at balls four and five. Jordy battled a bit more but went down looking after eight pitches. S-Rod kept the inning alive with a two out, 0-2 knock, becoming the first Bucco runner since the fourth frame. Freeser pinch hit and like Jordy, spoiled several pitches before swinging over a knuckle curve, and another loss was in the books.

Arquimedes tossed a pair of scoreless innings (photo

For Jon Niese, same ol' - both of his walks scored and another homer surrendered. For the Pirates hitters, another quick start and then nada against the pen. The Giants relievers spun 10 shutout innings in the past two games, both up-for-grabs contests left begging for a late run or two.

  • Gregory Polanco leads the team in RBI with 44 (he added a pair today) and runs scored with 47.
  • The Pirates have lost 17-of-22 games this month and are 2-13 since beating the Mets twice on June 7th (two days prior to losing both Cole Train and Fran). Since May 28th, they're 6-20.
  • Jon Niese has served up 18 homers, second most in MLB.


WilliamJPellas said...

Niese really hasn't been terrible, overall, this season. He's about what I expected: nothing to write home about, though also not terrible, a middle of the road, fourth starter on most teams. Ideally he'd be our fifth starter, but again, he's doing about as expected, I think. The problem is that the rest of the rotation has gone completely over a cliff, and shockingly fast. The entire season has unravelled as a direct result.

Ron Ieraci said...

Generally agreed, Wil. The FO overrated the pitching; they thought they'd get a mid rotation guy in Niese to replace Burnett/Happ and instead got a back ender. The whole Nicasio thing has screwed up both the rotation and pen. And, of course, Frankie here and Tyler Glasnow at Indy, two guys I believe they were counting on this year heavily, have yet to figure out where the strike zone is. The bullpen was threadbare from the start (they needed one more bridge guy to go along with Neftali Feliz) and the rotation one mid-level arm shy. Singing Happ & Blanton would have made a big diff, I think, and that's a costly pair of whiffs. They did do a nice job at filling in the position and bench guys, but pitching is the coin of the realm. Sera, sera...