It was another loss in Great American Ball Park for the Pirates today that didn’t sit well with many fans. It is hard to argue the disappointment, as the Pirates found themselves not being able to score many runs. Today’s loss wraps up the series with the Buc’s taking one out of the three played.
The story to this series was the inability for the Pirates to manufacture runs. In the series, Pittsburgh had 42 baserunners, but managed a mere 8 runs. Multiple times they had at least two baserunners on with 1 out and were unable to bat anyone in. If it weren’t for Marte’s grand slam in game 1, it could have been just 4 runs in the series. For the series, Pittsburgh batted just .143 with batters in scoring position. This, by no means, will win you games. However, no team can sustain this amount of deficiency.
The lone run in todays game was a Chris Stewart solo shot in the 2nd off of Tim Melville. Stewart would actually go 2-4 in replacement of Francisco Cervelli. John Jaso and Starling Marte also joined the multi hit club today, but neither were able to create a run in doing so. Early in the game, Jaso would actually hit a blooper into left field, but apparently wasn’t able to see it and failed to run to first on contact. Had he ran immediately, its very likely he could have made it to second and later be driven in on an Andrew McCutchen double immediately after.
Jeff Locke made it through 6 innings today allowing just one earned run. After all the negative talk leading up to the game about Locke, he did everything to give Pittsburgh the opportunity to win the game. Honestly, if you told me Locke would give up just one run and Stewart were to hit a home run, I would assume this game was won somewhere around the 3rd inning. Locke was shaky though throughout the game, but maintained his composure and get himself out of jams often. Neftali Feliz and Tony Watson would follow in relief and just allow one hit to keep the game tied. Arquimedes Caminero came in for the 9th and allowed a Brandon Phillips single, which Jay Bruce would drive in with a triple of his own to win the game.
It was quite shameful that the Pirates put themselves into the position they wanted to be in all game, but failed to do anything with it. The game started with Tim Melville walking three batters to have the bases loaded, just to see Josh Harrison ground out to end the inning. Melville’s pitch count after the 1st was at over 40 pitches. Even though the Pirates were doing well at the plate, Marte and Harrison still find themselves swinging at too many bad pitches.
With all this being said, it is still just 6 games into the season, and the Pirates appear to have a very competitive ball club. As mentioned, the rule of averages will even out and you will find more times that the Pirates will score and score in bunches. I think everyone is pleased to say they are leaving Great American Ball Park and will now be in Comerica to face the Tigers. Pittsburgh has found some success against the Tigers on recent years. Due to the canceled game today, Justin Verlander will be pushed back to face Jon Niese in Monday’s game.