Bland Bats Burn Bucs, Drop Rubber Match 3-1 (1-2)

4/2/23 – By Michael Castrignano – @412DoublePlay on Twitter

Graham Ashcraft had the Pirates number, twirling 7 innings of 4-hit, 1-run ball with 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. His mound opponent, Vince Velasquez, looked good early but ran out of gas, allowing 3 runs off 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 2 home runs, neither of which was hit very far.

Big story was the Pirates bats, which threatened a handful of times, but were mostly quiet, managing just 7 base-runners in the game. The Pirates were aggressive early in counts, leading to quick at-bats and short innings for Ashcraft, who was reaching high-90s with his fastball and mid-to-high-80s on his slider.

News & Notes

  • Velasquez hung a slider up and in to Jason Vosler that ended up in the seats (365 feet).
  • Velasquez was mixing speeds/locations fairly well but throwing mostly fastball/slider.
  • Pitch clock violation in the 3rd to Jake Frahley, who eventually walked
  • Seemed rattled overall and eventually gave up a hard grounder to short that scored Jonathan India for the Reds second run
  • Bryan Reynolds led off the 4th with a big home run to center (410 feet)
  • Velasquez got bailed out in the bottom of the 4th with Reds bats trying to expand the zone and generated weak contact but he was missing badly. Couldn’t get out of the 5th after a solo shot to TJ Friedl (392 feet)
  • Rob Zastryzny came in, gave up double, IBB and struck out Vosler
  • Andrew McCutchen doubled but was stranded in the 6th
  • Bloop single by Connor Joe w/2 outs, stranded in the 7th
  • Defensive gems by Joe and Cutch
  • Pirates managed to get runners on first and third with 1 out in the 8th but were unable to push anything across
  • With his two-bagger today, Cutch moves 7 away from 400 career doubles.
  • Pirates will travel to Boston to take on the Red Sox tomorrow at 7:10 PM with Johan Oviedo facing Kutter Crawford

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