Well, it wasn’t the kind of game that many of us were expecting to watch today. Though it was exciting and did go extra innings, the Pirates fell to the Reds and ended their 6 game win streak. Today’s story was all about errors and an ineffective bullpen. The Pirates committed four errors in total, while the bullpen gave away the lead twice in today’s contest.
Jeff Locke took the mound today and provided another quality start. Locke cruised right through the game sending batters down in a consistent manner. It wasn’t until the 6th inning where things would get shaky for him. Locke would allow a lead off double to Tucker Barnhart. Two batters later, Locke would issue his first walk of the game to Zach Cozart. After a TOOTBLAN or two by the Reds, Jay Bruce would hit a double that drove in Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton. The score would be 3-1 at this point. Locke remained in the game to pitch the 7th and came out with no more runs. He would then leave the game pitching 7 innings allowing four hits and two walks while striking out six.
As effective Locke was, rookie pitcher, Tim Adleman was a bit more effective. He kept the Bucco’s off of the bases most of the game and allowed just five baserunners in the 6 innings of work. He would make just a few flaws as he allowed a single shot home run to Gregory Polanco in the 5th. That home run, though, would clear the Clemente Wall an bounce into the river. Later in the 7th, Adleman would give up a single to Starling Marte and be replaced by Tony Cingrani. Sean Rodriguez would hit an RBI triple which would be charged to Adleman. The Pirates scoring continued when Matt Joyce entered the game and hit a bloop single to Billy Hamilton that would score Rodriguez.
The 8th inning is where it especially got sloppy. Cozart was facing Jared Hughed when he hit a ball over the head of Gregory Polanco that probably should have been caught. Cozart went into second standing up, but would leave the game with an apparent injury. While Jay Bruce was at bat, Joey Votto would attempt to steal second. Knowing he was about to be tagged out, he retreated back to first base. Tyler Holt, who replaced Cozart at second, then took off for home. Mercer through a perfect strike to Chris Stewart, but Stew was unable to hang on to the ball and Holt was called safe.
With Cincinnati holding the 4-3 lead, Starling Marte drove in Andrew McCutchen in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game. The scoring seemed to never stop from here. Scott Schebler hit an RBI double in the 9th, which would break the tie for the third time in the game. On the last strike with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, John Jaso hit a solo shot to send the game into extra innings. The game was eventually won in the top of the 11th when Scott Schebler hit another RBI double.
Jared Hughed made his first appearance of the season in today’s game. He took over for Jeff Locke and worked out of a jam but allowed no runs to score. Arquimedes Caminero then took over and did what he has done all year, put batters on base and allow runs. It has been a tough season for the fireballer and its unsure what the next step will be for this pitcher. His role certainly has to reduce, but its unsure if he will eventually be DFA’d. The talent is certainly there, but the production hasn’t been.
Josh Harrison continued his hit streak and is now at 10 games. Starling Marte, John Jaso, Gregory Polanco, and Jordy Mercer all contributed to their hot starts and are maintaining an average above .300 for 2016.
Tomorrow the Pirates will continue their Home stand and face the division leading Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and Gerrit Cole will face Jason Hammel. With the Pirates down 3 games to the Cubs in the division, this could be a big early season series for both clubs.