Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/15/14

The Pirates played another sloppy game against the Astros and finally paid for it with a loss, as the Bucs missed a chance to sweep and allowed Houston snap a 12-game losing streak.

I can’t get too worked up about losing a game to the awful Astros, since the Bucs took 3 of 4 on the road and are 9-2 against Houston this year. I understand that they didn’t play terribly well for most of the week, but remember that the unstoppable Reds needed two ninth inning comebacks to win at Minute Maid (where the Astros are nearly .500) earlier in the week. The Astros are really bad, but they’re still going to win every now and then.

What I can get worked up about is James McDonald, who had yet another horrific outing today. I didn’t see nearly as many positive signs as I saw in his Tuesday loss to the Cubs, but there were certainly plenty of negatives. James just wasn’t locating…he walked SEVEN and seemed to be falling behind every hitter, which led to six hits and five runs.  That’s four poor starts in a row for the Pirates’ ace of the first half…and his next start is scheduled to be on the road in a pivotal series against the Reds. Clint Hurdle says he will not be skipping it. Gulp.

Garrett Jones got the Bucs back in the game briefly with a towering two run blast in the fourth inning. Jones killed it–I’m guessing the ball would’ve reached the Allegheny on the fly if it had happened at PNC Park. Unfortunately, the offense didn’t do much else against Lucas Harrell and McDonald’s struggles got the Pirates back in a hole pretty quickly. Andrew McCutchen had the day off, but came up to pinch hit in a big spot with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth…but he popped out.

Kevin Correia made his first relief appearance in the sixth, and the disgruntled righty did not do much to help his case. He allowed five hits and four runs in two innings, essentially allowing Houston to put the game away. The Bucs got three runs back late, but they wouldn’t be nearly enough. Starling Marte, Pedro Alvarez, and Josh Harrison each notched two hits.

Ugly loss for the Bucs, who fell to three games behind the Reds (winners of ten straight) in the Central.

Astros 9, Pirates 5 / Box / 2012 Record: 58-43 / Next: Monday, at Cubs, 8:05

MVP: Jones (+.127) / LVP: McDonald (-.382) / Key play: Schaefer’s HR

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Heat lose a key player with McRoberts out for rest of season

Belichick: Ryan is 'buttering me up' with Hall of Fame praise

Marshall: Bears need to gel and do some kumbaya

Ray McDonald investigated for possible sexual assault

Red Sox appear content with rotation despite lack of true ace

Iguodala gets technical for mocking Conley travel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bo Pelini takes shot at Nebraska during introductory presser

Belichick: Patriots need to play better against the Jets

Rex Ryan doesn't want to get in trouble talking about Revis

Bears Conte willing to shorten lifespan for NFL career

Former NFLer Simeon Rice: I was sexually abused as a child

Jets owner favorites tweet about firing John Idzik

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson lead in 2014 athlete Google searches

Molding the market: All eyes on Max Scherzer

Another "Fire John Idzik' plane flies at Jets practice

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Report: Some Browns shunned Manziel during pregame

Making an attempt to understand Celtics' priorities

Gronk makes awkward sausage joke on 'Top Chef'

Walmart ripped for confusing Anthony/Lin doll

RG3 taking sabbatical from social media for rest of season

David Robinson's son to walk-on at Duke next year

The Most Valuable Player of each NFL division

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.

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

5 NFLers who must step up in Week 16

Most impressive college hoops teams

Five reasons why FSU is going to win the CFB Playoff

Boxer admits to dive in Rourke bout

FCC heard about Brady's swearing?

Embracing the hate of the Eagles-Cowboys Rivalry

DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Andrew Hawkins defends shirt

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.