For the second straight game, Pittsburgh was finding success of getting on base, but not being able to capitalize and turn them into runs. By no means was it a lack of effort from the plate, either. No, today was a story of very bad decisions on the base paths that may have cost the Bucco’s a victory.
The brief highlights on the game were the fact that Jaso, Cervelli, Polanco, and Harrison, each collected at least two hits. For a team, Pittsburgh had 10 hits and a total of 13 baserunners. Harrison had the lone RBI when he drove in Cervelli. Other than this, there was a lot of disappointment.
Cole started the game and looked as if he couldn’t locate his pitches and miss bats. He quickly gave up two runs in the 1st inning. He was also pretty shaky in the 2nd, but once the 3rd inning came, he started showing glimpses of the Cole we know. He generated 8 straight outs before walking Suarez and giving up a single to Votto. Since his pitch count was already at 100, Cole was pulled from the game in favor of Caminero. This now leaves Cole with a career 5.30 ERA in seven starts against Cincinnati.
The battery was very similar. There were many glimpses of the damage they could bring, but then at moments it would all fall apart with a dumb mental mistake, or the more infamous term – a TOOTBLAN. There were multiple times the Pirates had at least 2 men on base with just zero or one out and failed to score a run. Except for Marte’s grand slam, much could be said for yesterday’s game as well.
Railes Iglesias was able to control the damage he provided with the help of the Pirates. Though, he did allow eight hits and two walks, the young Cuban defector managed to strike out seven Buccos in just 5.1 innings. Blake Wood, Caleb Cotham, and then J.J. Hoover, held the Pirates in check the rest of the way to secure the win for the Reds.
Three people I would like to point out so far on the year though are Polanco, Mercer, and Caminero. Polanco has began this year on a tear. He is simply crushing the ball when he gets a hold of it and also has a league leading seven walks for the year. These are certainly great signs from the newly extended player. Jordy had a very nice spring and so far its carrying over for the shortstop. Though he didn’t collect a hit today, his glove is more than making up for what deficiencies he brings to the plate. Lastly, Caminero did not have a good spring, but to start the season, he has given up zero earned runs and four strikeouts in four total innings.
Though the article cleary shows the Pirates may have lost this game on their own, it still is just game 5 into the 162 game season, and the Pirates are still a solid 4-1. Tomorrow is going to be a big day though as they will have the chance to win the first two series of the season. Jeff Locke will be taking the hill vs. Tim Melville. This will showcase the first game of Locke’s revamped delivery, though I expect Yinzer Nation will be loud at every moment there is a hiccup. Melville will be making his MLB debut and coming off of a Triple A season where he went 7-10, posting a 4.63 ERA with the Tigers affiliate.