For the first four innings it looked like we were in for another low scoring pitchers duel, which has become more common place that I truly expected thus far in the season. With a starting rotation that lost Joe Musgrove via trade and Steven Brault to injury before the year started, while filling gaps with the likes of Trevor Cahill, Tyler Anderson and an experienced Wil Crowe due to Chad Kuhl scuffling before ending up on the IL himself, I saw the offense as needing to over perform in most instances to keep the Pirates in games. Sure, there have been a few complete blowouts that no amount of support from the bats could cure, but these have been few and far between; especially when they have played any team not named Cincinnati.
As Crowe came out for the fifth you could tell the Giants had either figured him out a little bit the first two times through the order, or his pitches weren’t finding their marks as he surrendered three runs on a homer, two singles and a triple, with a Jacob Stallings’ throwing error mixed it; still a deficit like this shouldn’t be insurmountable, but it sure felt that way and ultimately was as the Pirates fell to the Giants 3-1.
News and Notes:
- The Pirates lone run came on a 8th inning blast off the bat of Will Craig. It was his first Major League hit, homer and RBI all wrapped into one; and his fourth homer in three games if you count his time in Indianapolis.
- Wil Crowe didn’t get the win, but it wasn’t like he didn’t give his team a chance to. In five innings he gave up the aforementioned three runs on six hits, while walking just one and striking out five. As a starter Crowe has posted a 4.05 ERA, a 1.250 WHIP and 15 strikeouts over 20 innings. Obviously this is not ace level stuff, which is what it seems like many fans have come to expect from every pitcher, but it’s definitely enough to keep your team in games.
- The Pirates accumulated only five hits on the night, one of which was from their designated pinch hitter Wilmer Difo, who is hitting .389 in those situations on the year with a homer.
- The bullpen held up, and that is exactly what they have been doing on most occasions this season. Overall Pittsburgh’s relievers are ranking 8th in MLB. Once again most times they won’t lose the game for you, but they can’t to much more than they have to give the Pirates a chance to win.
- On the season the Pirates hitters have a combined 83 wRC+, which is only better than Detroit and Colorado. As a team they are batting .203 with Runners In Scoring Position. Game by game this can be seen as an overrated stat, but when it becomes a pattern, it’s hard to say that any stat is overrated.
The Pirates and Giants will back at it today at today at 6:35 PM EST from PNC Park, with Miguel Yajure (0-1, 8.31 ERA) expected to take the mound against Kevin Gausman (3-0, 1.97 ERA) for San Francisco.