Another game in June and another loss for the Pirates. The 5-3 loss to the Giants this afternoon dropped them to a season-worst 34-39 record on the season and a putrid 5-18 in June.
It started out nice as the Pirates manufactured a run in the first inning thanks to a two-base error by Giants starter Albert Suarez. Meanwhile Jon Niese cruised through the first two innings with two strikeouts and four ground balls. Just like the majority of his season, that all changed quickly in the third inning when he loaded the bases with one out and served up an offering to Joe Panik that was ripped into the gap for a bases-clearing triple. Panik scored next AB on a Mac Williamson RBI single and it was 4-1 Giants.
The Pirates responded in the bottom of the inning as Josh Harrison hustled for an RBI triple and scored on Polanco’s second sacrifice fly of the game. That would cut the lead to 4-3, but the Pirates bats would go silent again for the rest of the game, including only one baserunner in four innings against the Giants bullpen. Amazing what a good bullpen can do, huh?
Williamson belted a home run off Niese in the 6th inning to finish the scoring. Niese ended up with an ugly line again: 6.0 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. His ERA drops to 4.93 and basically sums up where the rotation is right now when Niese is one of your more reliable pitchers.
The Pirates have the Dodgers coming to town for four games starting tomorrow into Monday. Once again, it’s not going to get any easier and if the Pirates keep rolling out there with the same arms in the bullpen and rotation, the same results will keep happening. At this point, I’d be all about selling any spare parts you can at the deadline because they clearly aren’t rushing to call up Glasnow or rushing to make any deals for relievers.