Stop me if you heard this one before—Pirates starter struggles and doesn’t make it five innings, barely giving the Pirates a chance in a game. I’m like a lot of fans who are basically done watching Juan Nicasio take the mound for this team as a starting pitcher.
It was a sign of things to come when Curtis Granderson led the bottom of the first inning off with a home run off Nicasio for his 13th home run of the season. Things really took a turn for the worse in the 3rd inning when Neil Walker, in his first game back in the Mets lineup, belted his 14th home run of the year for two runs. Walker had an awful series last week against the Pirates at PNC Park, but he was making up for it in this game. Michael Conforto followed up Walker’s homer by hitting his 10th home run on the very next pitch. Walker added on an RBI double in the 5th inning to chase Nicasio from the game and hopefully the Pirates rotation.
Last year on June 16, Walker had four home runs for the Pirates. This season, he already has 14 bombs with a .345+ OBP.
Meanwhile Bartolo Colon did it all for the Mets tonight. He went 7.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts. He also ripped a line drive double off Nicasio to make it a real fun time at the ballpark for him tonight.
A couple bright spots in the lineup tonight for Pittsburgh was Matt Joyce‘s 7th home run of the year in the 8th inning and McCutchen broke out of his slump with three hits, including his 10th home run of the season in the top of the 9th inning. It was Cutch’s first home run in 17 games and one he desperately needed as hopefully he gets going. The Pirates scored four runs in the last two innings, but the rally was too little, too late as they lose 6-4.
Even if Tyler Glasnow is not ready for the Majors yet and needs some fine tuning at Indy, something needs to be done with this rotation. The Pirates can’t keep rolling out Locke and Nicasio to get through less than 5 innings and put the team in such a hole quick. Wilfredo Boscan might be an option after his performance at Indy tonight as he tossed six shutout innings on four hits over Pawtucket tonight. At this point, I’d take Boscan in the rotation until Cole gets back and move Nicasio and his slooooow mechanics to the pen. If Boscan is effective in the rotation, keep him in rotation once Cole returns and boot Locke somewhere else. At this point, why not?
Pirates continue to get screwed by the schedule as after tonight’s late game in New York, they travel straight to Chicago to face Jake Arrieta in an afternoon game tomorrow. Ain’t that some shit?