The Pittsburgh Pirates did not have their best stuff against the Cincinnati Reds, as they dropped 2 out of 3 games to lower their season record to 4-2. The opening game of the series was the best one for the Bucs as they scratched out a 6-5 victory thanks to the first grand slam of Starling Marte’s career.
The Bucs were down 5-2 after a rough outing by Francisco Liriano, but Ross Ohlendorf loaded the bases in the top of the eighth inning for Starling Marte. Then, JJ Hoover came in to pitch for the Reds, who was sent out with his first loss of the season after Marte hit an absolute bomb to left field.
Marte knew it was gone the second the ball left his bat.
Mark Melancon came in for the bottom of the ninth and locked up his second save in two straight ball games. Unfortunately, the tables turned for the next two games.
Saturday was a complete loss for the Pirates. Gerrit Cole got his first start of the season, and his first loss of the season. He surrendered three earned runs on five hits in just 4.2 innings pitched. Raisel Iglesias was the winning pitcher for the Reds as he gave up just one earned run in 5.2 innings pitched.
The Pirates were able to accumulate eight hits off their starter and ten for the whole game but could only come across to score one time. The bats just couldn’t seem to hit base runners in the entire game.
This was the same story on Sunday. The Pirates fell to the Reds again, this time 2-1, but they left runners on base, especially in scoring position, numerous times.
Arquimedes Caminero was handed the loss on Sunday after Jeff Locke pitched a decent game. Locke found himself in trouble nearly every inning, but he was able to get himself out of it only surrendering one run.
Caminero gave up a walk-off triple to Reds’ outfielder Jay Bruce as he drove in Brandon Phillips for the winning run.
Overall, it was a pretty disappointing weekend in Cincinnati. The Pirates are going to have to figure out a way to get runners across the plate in close games if they have any chance at making another playoff run.
The Pirates are not going to hit a ton of home runs, so the mentality is small ball, and with small ball comes the ability to hit runners in when they are in scoring position with a little single to the outfield. The Pirates need to figure this out if they have any chance.
The Burgh Blog Writer