Despite a strong performance from Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong in his first game in two months, the Pirates lose to the Braves 5-2 and drop an awful series to Atlanta.
One night the Pirates get four runs of support for Jeff Locke and it wasn’t enough and the next night Ryan Vogelsong deserves some run support and gets one run and that’s it. The Pirates finish the road trip a pathetic 1-5 against the Brewers and Braves and fall to 53-53 and three games back of the last wildcard spot.
The Pirates may technically be in the “wildcard hunt,” but this team is nowhere near looking like a playoff contender and that starts with the hitting…or lack thereof. The Pirates scored 17 runs in six games (2.83 runs per game) against two of the worst teams in the NL. And that’s including the last two nights when they faced Rob Whalen and Tyrell Jenkins, two Triple-A pitchers.
Jenkins, making just his 5th ML start, mowed down the Bucs for 6.0 innings with just three hits, one run and two strikeouts. He walked four batters, but the Pirates could not take advantage. There was an hour rain delay prior to this game and the Bucs bats looked to still be on delay.
Vogelsong exited the game after the 6th inning in a 1-1 tie after tossing a solid outing of 6.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. He looked like our third best pitcher all season, which isn’t saying much with what they’ve had to work with. The bullpen took over and Felipe Rivero and Antonio Bastardo each gave up two unearned runs in back-to-back innings after two costly errors by Jung Ho Kang. John Jaso made an equally costly error and embarrassed himself when he grounded into a double play and didn’t even bother leaving the box because he broke his bat and apparently didn’t think it was a fair ball? Who knows, but if there’s any silver lining from that place, it’s that Jaso fell out of favor with Hurdle and sits him down.
There’s not much else to say about this shit show. The Pirates were swept by the Brewers and just lost a series to a 39-69 team. But the Bucs are still a “contender,” right?