Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/9/14

The Pirates entered the night 53-0 when leading a game after seven innings. That’s how good the back end of the bullpen has been (plus some luck, since the few times the ‘pen blew a lead the offense managed to bail them out).

All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, and that’s what happened on Tuesday. The Pirates were poised to win their third in a row in exciting, comeback fashion…and then it all went down the drain when the bullpen had an uncharacteristically brutal night.

Jeff Karstens was hit pretty hard early on (including a liner off his backside in the first inning) but managed to satisfy the bare minimum requirements for a quality start. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out four, which helped consolidate his eight hits allowed (including two doubles and a homer) into three runs over six innings. Good job by Jeff to keep the Bucs in the game when he wasn’t having one of his best nights.

Meanwhile, plenty of Pirates were reaching base in the early innings, but the Bucs didn’t capitalize as much as they should’ve. They got big days from the top of the order (two hits each from Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, plus three from Travis Snider) but everyone else combined for only two total (doubles by Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry). McCutchen drove in runs in the first and third to match Arizona’s runs in the top half of those innings, but the Snakes went back on top in the fourth and the Bucs missed a few chances to tie.

Still, it felt like they were on the verge of breaking through, and they did just that in the seventh. Marte led off with a remarkably impressive blast to center for his first homer at PNC Park, tying the game. Snider and Cutch then followed with hits, and Neil Walker poked a sac fly to score Snider and put the Bucs on top. Jason Grilli warmed in the bullpen, and it seemed like the Pirates were in good shape.

Not so much. Grilli, who has been dynamite all season, just had a miserable night. All four batters he faced got hits, and the fourth was a three-run homer to put Arizona ahead. Jared Hughes had a messy ninth as well, allowing three more. Chris Johnson (formerly of the Astros) homered in both innings.

Nothing’s automatic. The Pirates’ bullpen has been overdue for a little regression. Every team loses games like this in gut-punch fashion, and the Bucs have been fortunate to avoid them up until this point. They’re terrible, but they happen. Unless Grilli has suddenly lost everything that made him a strikeout machine up to this point in the season, this is just an unfortunate blip on the screen.

In better news, the Reds, Braves, and Cardinals all lost…so the Bucs didn’t lose any ground in the division or wild card races.

DBacks 10, Pirates 4 / Box / 2012 Record: 62-47 / Next: Wednesday, vs. DBacks, 7:05

MVP: McCutchen (+.298) / LVP: Grilli (-.705) / Key play: Johnson’s HR

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Robert Griffin III benched by Redskins for McCoy

Dice-K Matsuzaka headed back to Japan

Lovie Smith: 2-9 Bucs are still in playoff contention

UCLA QB Brett Hundley likely to enter NFL draft

Bills will return to Ralph Wilson Stadium for Sunday's game

Miller to Oregon transfer rumor originates on Reddit

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Valencia FC ditches bat logo amidst DC Comics challenge

Paul Pierce: Celtics' Big Three was like 'Holy Trinity'

Cubs reportedly offer Jon Lester more than $135 million

Colin Kaepernick: Jim Harbaugh will be back in 2015

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark

Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Derrick Rose leaves game with hamstring tightness

WATCH: Ty Lawson drops Kirk Hinrich to the floor

Alabama DL trolls Auburn with Instagram photo

Rockies pitcher takes shot at former Astros pitcher

WATCH: Paul Pierce signs autograph during game

Jeremy Hill asks great question about alma mater LSU

NBA rookie rankings after 1st month of 2014-15 season

Statistic about Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler very revealing

Aaron Rodgers blasts those who accused him of trolling Vikings

The century's 10 most one-sided college football rivalries

WATCH: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of NBA's first month

Sherman mocks NFL media policies in press conference

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.