Sigh. The Pirates just staged an encore of the two losses to the Cubs–minus the mini ninth inning rallies–as the offense was terrible and the pitching was good (but not good enough). This edition featured just two hits and nothing even close to a rally against Zack Greinke and the Dodger bullpen.
It’s pretty simple…Greinke was good and the Pirates were bad. The Bucs are now an amazing 15 for 118 on the young season. They had some good at bats here and there (mostly from Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen) and a few hard hit balls that went for outs, but bad luck wasn’t the prevelant issue. This team is just an absolute mess at the plate right now. We saw it at the beginning of last season and here it is again. It will get better, but this is absolutely brutal to watch right now.
On the positive side, Jonathan Sanchez was actually quite a pleasant surprise. He looked very good for five innings despite a solo homer by Andre Ethier on a bad pitch up in the zone. Through the first five, Sanchez didn’t walk anyone(!!!!!) and struck out four, keeping a powerful offense at bay. The fifth inning was a bit shaky though, and when the heart of the order coming up in the sixth, things got away from him. A leadoff walk and two doubles ended his day and gave him a mediocre line, but you have to be encouraged with how he pitched.
Jeanmar Gomez was solid out of the bullpen in his Bucco debut. He quickly cleaned up Sanchez’s mess in the sixth (thanks to some bad Dodger baserunning) and finished the game with two more clean innings.
Not much else to say, really. The Bucs need to hit the ball.
McCutchen had one of the Bucs’ two hits, but quickly negated it with a dumb stolen base attempt when the Bucs were down by three. He was thrown out for the first time this year.
The other Bucco hit was a gift from the official scorer. Garrett Jones lined a one-hopper into the Dodgers’ shift, and Mark Ellis booted it. Ellis was in the outfield and the ball was hit fairly hard, but I still couldn’t believe it wasn’t ruled an error. Everyone was wondering if that would cost Greinke a no-hitter until Cutch singled in the seventh.
For some reason Clint Hurdle pinch-hit Josh Harrison for Clint Barmes in the eighth, then left Harrison in at short instead of swapping in the much better defender John McDonald. It obviously made no difference, but it also didn’t make any sense.
This lineup faces the best pitcher in the NL tonight.
Dodgers 3, Pirates 0 / Box / 2013 Record: 1-3 / Next: Saturday, at Dodgers, 9:40