Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Johnny Cueto and the Reds dominated the Pirates on Friday night, as they cruised to a shutout victory that turned ugly in the late innings. Cueto, as he almost always is against the Bucs, was phenomenal. Eight shutout innings, one hit. That’s all you need to know. The Bucs may have hit a few balls hard that didn’t drop, but it certainly wasn’t a smoke-and-mirrors type of outing, even though he struck out only six. The Bucs weren’t whiffing as much as they did against the Tigers, but their bats are still in need of a wake-up call. This was their first shutout loss at home and the one hit (by Brandon Inge, of all people) was a season low. Wandy Rodriguez was pretty good, but never had much of a chance. He gave the Bucs a much needed seven inning outing and yielded just two runs – solo bombs by Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips. He did walk three, but allowed just five hits and struck out five. That’s a pretty strong outing against a good Reds offense. Mike Zagurski, on the other hand, was anything but good. The big lefty had no control at all in his second appearance with the Pirates (first at home), and he quickly lost any support he may have gained after drilling Phillips right after he came in. Zagurski allowed two runs on a walk and two hits in the eighth, and with the game well out of hand, Clint Hurdle sent him back out in the ninth – hoping that he could just finish the game without using any other relievers. Zagurski was not up to the challenge of a two inning outing – he walked three more, totally ran out of gas as he approached 60 pitches, and came out after allowing another run. Bryan Morris walked in the last run before finally finishing the inning. I would not be surprised to see Jared Hughes replace Zagurski on the roster as soon as tomorrow. Ugly night for the Bucs – those’ll happen, especially against tough teams – but it stings a bit to lose badly in the first game of a big home series. The offensive slump is definitely a growing concern – the Bucs have faced some great pitching lately, but that’s not going to change any time soon. Reds 6, Pirates 0 / Box / 2013 Record: 34-21 / Next: Saturday, vs. Reds, 7:15 Source: FanGraphs
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