Last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates dropped their second straight game to the Cincinnati Reds to a score of 8-7. This was highly significant because it now brings them 2 games under .500 and now 5.5 games out of the Wild Card. For the first time since July 1, the Pirates find themselves two games back. Those people who were still clinging onto a chance for the post season may unclench their grip now.
Pittsburgh actually came out of the gate strong in this game. After Drew Hutchison retired three of the first four batters of the game, the Pirates managed to score two runs on three hits and two walks. Josh Bell was the first to deliver an RBI as he drove Josh Harrison in on a double hit to left field. Jung Ho Kang delivered his eighth hits in six games since his return to score Josh Bell. With bases loaded and still just one out, Francisco Cervelli hit into an inning ending double play to prevent more numbers going on the scoreboard.
Hutchison was still battling strong and kept the Reds to 0 runs in three innings while allowing just one base runner. The Pirates were able to score two more runs on a Jung Ho home run in the third to increase the lead to four runs. Then everything started to unravel.
In the top of the 4th Drew Hutchison was getting singled to death and allowed the game to become tied. In the inning alone, he allowed five hits and a hit by pitch to allow four runs. He would leave the game after the 4th with a final stat line of 4 earned runs on eight hits, no walks, and three strikeouts.
Both teams battled back and forth the rest of the way with the Reds essentially sealing the deal on a Joey Votto two run shot into the right field seats. With the score 8-6 the Pirate tried to make a last chance effort but came up short. Francisco Cervelli was able to drive in Gregory Polanco for one run, but a Jordy Mercer ground out with two men on closed the door on that game and very possibly any small light of a playoff game.
As disappointing as this game was, there were definitely some bright spots to be mentioned. Jung Ho Kang went 3 for 4 with a home run, three RBI’s, and one run. Kang has absolutely been on fire since his return from the DL and has now batted .500/.583/1.150 in 24 plate appearances with one double and four home runs. Josh Harrison, though he left the game with a right groin discomfort, went 2 for 4 with a double. Lastly, Josh Bell also went 2 for 4 with a walk and a double.