If the Pirates wanted to win their sixth straight series for the first time since 1992, they needed to keep the offense going from Game 1 of the Baltimore series and lock down the pitching. They didnât do either. TheÂ offense was back to scoring fewer than two runs for the 18th time this season and the pitching staff gave up at least 7 runs for a second straight night in the 7-1 embarrassment.
Last night was only the first time since May 22-23 that the BuccosÂ have lost back-to-back games but having the current versions of Brad Lincoln and Kevin Correia rounding out the rotation, the Pirates didnât stand much of a chance against the Oriolesâ offense that scores 4.5 runs per game.
CorreiaÂ continued to be nothing more than mehÂ giving up 10 hits and 5 runs through six innings of work, He gave up 4 extra-base hits, including a two-out homer in the sixth. James McDonald, AJ Burnett and Erik BedardÂ have found success this year by striking people out but since CorreiaÂ couldnât K a guy to save his life, the defense had to deal with 26 ballsÂ in play out of the 28 batters Correia faced.
RBI doubles in the first and second had the BuccosÂ downÂ early and another former Pirate with a vendetta, Steve Pearce, put the Oâs up 3-0 to end the second. Wilson BetemitÂ hit a sac fly in the fourth and then homeredÂ in the sixth. Betemit went 3 for 3 with 3 RBI and 2 runs out of the eighth spot in the order.
That was the end of CorreiaâsÂ night but Tony Watson do much better. It seems like if he;s not in a position to win a game, he has no idea what to do. He pumped his ERA up to 4.26 with a two-run bomb in the seventh after Neil Walker drove in the Buccos only run in the top half of the inning.
The BuccosÂ went 1-13 last night with runners in scoring position and left 10 guys stranded on base. They also got KâdÂ 9 times by Jake Arrieta, who was 2-8 with a 6.32 ERA and was just lit up for 9 runs in his last start. He wasnâtÂ even supposed to start last night and apparentlyÂ was thrown back into the rotation a couple of hoursÂ before the game. Touche, Buck.
Weâve come to expect suckfestsÂ from the BuccoÂ Bats by now but if the pitching is starting to slide, the Pirates could be in big trouble. The starters have been pretty bad the last couple of days but the bullpen has been slipping too. Hopefully Jeff KarstensÂ is close to returning and can help solve this little funk. And hopefully Erik BedardÂ doesnât follow suit and can get the Buccos, who have fallen two games behind the Reds for first place,Â back on track tonight in the finale.