I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll probably say it 20 more times before this season has concluded, but if you don’t have pitching, you have nothing.
The Pirates offense scored early and often in the first three innings of tonight’s game and built a quick 6-1 lead in what looked like could be a very solid win for the struggling ball club. Well, Liriano was not effective and continued to allow runs and help make it 6-4 after he labored through five innings on 89 pitches. Liriano exited with the lead and insert Jared Hughes. Hughes gave up four hits, three runs and suddenly the Pirates found themselves trailing 7-6 when Hughes inning was over. This is nothing new with the bullpen this season, but it doesn’t get any easier to watch or less frustrating to endure.
Gregory Polanco led the bats with a 3-for-5 performance with a three-run blast in the second inning for his 10th home run of the season. John Jaso led off the bottom of the first with his fourth home run and Jung Ho Kang also homered for the Bucs. The Pirates offense went silent after the six runs off Jeff Samardzija in the first three innings and the Bucs lost to fall to a season-worst four games under .500 at 34-38. Less than a month ago on May 28, the Pirates were 28-19, a season-high nine games over .500. A putrid 5-17 month of June so far has done this season in to date.
The Bucs have one more game against the Giants tomorrow afternoon at 12:35PM before welcoming the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw to town for three games. This month has been brutal and it’s not going to get any easier. And it certainly won’t change if the Pirates continue to run out the same rotation and relievers every night. Liriano and every other starter not consistently going six and seven innings makes the team rely on more bullpen arms and that has been a nightmare and recipe for disaster.