Bucs Fall in Glasnow’s Impressive Debut

Tyler Glasnow‘s final pitching line didn’t tell the whole story, but watching his mid-to-high 90’s fastball and sick curveball was all you need to know about the promising beginning to Glasnow’s career. The Pirates couldn’t hit Adam Wainwright today and Glasnow hung a couple of curves, one for a HR as the Bucs fell 5-1 to snap their seven-game winning streak. Despite the loss, the Pirates took three-of-four from the Cards and went 7-2 on the road trip.

After all the talk about Glasnow’s command struggles and walks in the minors, he started his ML career off with a walk to Greg Garcia. After that, Glasnow set down the next nine batters showing off a curveball that had Cardinals hitters swinging and missing. He blew a 96-mph fastball past Yadier Molina for a strikeout that looked effortless to him. What also was impressive was his ability to use his curveball while behind in the count and get strikes with it to get back into the count.

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He hung a curveball to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning and Aledmys Diaz ripped a triple off the top of the wall for the first hit of the game off Glasnow. He got the next two outs to almost escape the inning, but a wild pitch scored Diaz for the first run off Glasnow to tie the game at 1-1.

Glasnow hung another curve in the middle of the zone in the next inning and Randal Grichuk deposited it into the left field seats for a home run to make it 2-1 Cardinals. At 80 pitches, Hurdle made the decision to let Glasnow come out for the 6th inning and he allowed a double, sac bunt and walk before being pulled from the game for Caminero, who promptly gave up a three-run home run to Piscotty to make Glasnow’s line look a lot worse with four earned runs.

I don’t put much stock into debuts because you know there are some serious nerves involved. Glasnow had a high pitch count from the start with 42 pitches in the first two innings, but once he figures out how to command that curveball and not hang them in the zone, he could be lights out. Take out the two hanging curveballs that he served up and Glasnow could have had a clean line and blanked the Cards, but it was not to be this afternoon. I’m very intrigued to see his second start and hopefully he stays in the rotation for now instead of heading back to Triple-A. The Pirates have a week to figure those decisions out with the All-Star break approaching. Despite the final line and loss, it was an impressive debut for the 22-year-old. He also singled in his second at-bat, which was a pretty cool moment for him and his family.

Andrew McCutchen struggled again, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts for the hat trick that no one wants. That gave him 89 strikeouts on the season. To compare how unusual that is for him, McCutchen didn’t reach his 89th strikeout last year until August 14. In 2014, his 89th strikeout came on August 23. In 2013, it was September 6. This isn’t the McCutchen we are used to seeing as he’s lost the worst season of his career.

The Pirates head home to finish the first half with three games against the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. They will need to avoid a sweep to the Cubs to go into the All-Star break above .500. Francisco Liriano faces off against nemesis Jake Arrieta Friday night at PNC Park.

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