Last night the Angels came into town with their anemic offense and below average pitching and made me look like a fool from my pre game write up. Their patient offense and the inability for the Pirares to find the strike zone lead to a 9-2 victory for Los Angeles.
Right from the get go, L.A. went up 3-0 without recording an out. Francisco Liriano gave up three singles and two walks before inducing a double play to record the first two outs of the inning. After intentially walking Gregory Petit, he struck out Jered Weaver to end the inning.
Things did not get any better for Liriano. He left the game in the 4th inning after throwing 76 pitches (just 40 for strikes), and allowing 7 runs (6 earned). In just the 3.1 innings pitched, he allowed 14 base runners, 10 by hits and four by walks. His inability to control his pitches were the story of his night as its been for most of the season. Over the last two putting by Liriano, he allowed 12 runs, 16 hits, and eight walks in just 9.1 innings of work. Tonight saw his ERA increase to a 5.25 and looking like the old Frankie before the Pirates took a chance on him. It would be no surprise to see him hit the DL and maybe see a Jameson Taillon call up!? Hint: they did pitch on the same day, so taillon could essentially slide right into the rotation with normal rest.
The Pirates looked like a team ready to come back and take the lead as Jung Ho Kang and Starling Marte each belted a single shot in the 2nd to make the score 3-2. Kang’s homer went 436 feet while Marte’s traveled 390 feet. Marte ended up recording two more hits with one going for two bags. That wouldn’t be the only extra base hit of the night for Kang either. He would take Weaver’s pitch deep to left to record a double. Since Kang’s return, he has hit .270 and totaled 20 hits. The amazing part is 13 of those 20 have gone for extra base hits (7 home runs and 6 doubles). He is slugging .635 in 22 games back and has provided plenty of power for this club.
Pittsburgh was not able to muster up any more runs in the contest. Minus the stats from Kang and Marte, they only collected three other hits and just one walk by Polanco. This team’s offense has been skidding over the past week and really needs to get things going.
In the opposite dugout, the Angels brought the wood and collected 15 hits while drawing a total of 10 walks. Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun found themselves on base four times a piece (each getting two hits and two walks). Each player in the starting lineup minus Weaver recorded at least 1 hit last nights, which was certainly not how NSN predicted it would go. Calhoun was also able to hit a homer of his own off of Liriano which was his fifth of the season.
Due to Liriano’s ineffectiveness, Pittsburgh had to go to their bullpen early. Rob Scahill entered the game in the 4th inning and was able to effectively shut out the Angels. Pitching 2.1 innings, Scahill allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out two. Wilfredo Boscan then relieved Scahill in the 6th. Boscan was also unable to find his control last night. After pitching 9 innings this season and allowing just two runs, he pitched 3.1 innings while giving up two earned with four hits and four walks. Wilfredo looked to be a great addition to this pen as he only previously allowed just one walk, too. Though last night could have been just a blimp on the map for Boscan, it still leaves much to concern about with the Pirates bullpen.
Today, the Pirates will face the Angels again at 4:05 PM EST.