Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 7/12/14
The Bucs let another lead slip away and came out of Colorado empty handed on Sunday afternoon, as the Rockies completed a sweep with a 3-2 victory. Just like Saturday night, the game was going pretty well for a while. The Bucs scored a couple of quick runs when Pedro Alvarez crushed a homer and Andrew McCutchen brought in Clint Barmes with an infield hit. Jeff Locke was pitching well – much better than he’s been in recent weeks. He went back in to “not giving up any hits” mode, allowing just three. He did walk four, but one was intentional and that’s been a fairly constant thing with him. He did a great job of pitching, got a big K when he needed it to help escape a jam, and worked around a bad Barmes error that should’ve been an inning ending DP. Jeff was charged with two runs (one earned) but neither was really his fault. The first one came on a completely phantom balk call – Jeff stepped off and threw a runner out after he broke early, and the ump made a completely incorrect balk call, perhaps thinking he panicked and didn’t step off quickly enough. Locke did nothing wrong but the call cost him a run when the runner scored on a sac fly. Later, in the 6th, he was removed from the game with two on and two out. Tony Watson got a ground ball to Pedro, but he threw it away. That tied the game. Even though a battle of bullpens normally favors the Pirates, this one just had a bad feel to it the way the weekend was going. Bryan Morris allowed a single and double with two outs in the seventh, putting Colorado ahead. The offense, meanwhile, went back in to hibernation after the two early runs off rookie Chad Bettis. To top off the frustrating series, the Pirates had a golden chance to tie it in the ninth when Neil Walker led off with a single and Tony Sanchez ripped a one-out double to get him to third. Clint Hurdle could’ve (should’ve?) pinch run Starling Marte for Walker – Marte would’ve easily scored on the double – but instead kept Neil in the game so Jordy Mercer could PH for Barmes. Mercer ripped a line drive, but it went right at the 3B for an out. Just that kind of weekend. Alex Presley then popped out to end it. Awful series for the Pirates. They were swept by a subpar team and it certainly felt worse since they led two of the games for a while. They didn’t get many breaks and certainly didn’t play well at all – in any facet – offense, defense, and pitching. Series like this one are why you build a cushion in the division, which the Bucs thankfully did before this weekend. They’ll head in to St. Louis up three games after a much-needed off day Monday. Rockies 3, Pirates 2 / Box / 2013 Record: 70-47 / Next: Tuesday, at Cardinals, 8:15 Source: FanGraphs
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