Tonight wasn’t the night for the Pirates. When we talk about the Pirates not putting it all together we usually mean they will get the pitching and defense one night and the offense won’t show up or the offense and defense will show up and the pitching won’t or the defense will be terrible and cost the team a game, but tonight nothing went right.
Charlie Morton didn’t have his stuff tonight, the offense was shut down by Dillon Gee and the defense made you only want to throw up, if you were lucky. Over the past two weeks the Pirates have been competitive in almost every game and it has been really exciting. Tonight, not so much.
Morton didn’t have much life on any of his pitches tonight and his location wasn’t much better as he was touched up for seven runs and nine hits over four innings of work before being yanked after throwing 81 pitches. As bad as those numbers look on the surface for Chuck it really wasn’t all about him. The Mets have given Chuck trouble this year, the last time getting 11 hits off the sinker baller in his last start against them. The defense was also especially bad, but I will touch on that a little later.
The Mets really put this one out of reach in the fourth inning when they scored five runs and then followed that with single runs in the fifth and sixth inning. Jose Reyes was his normal self with three hits and scored two runs as he holds the major league lead in hits. Reyes went deep in the sixth inning off reliever Daniel McCutchen.
The Mets took the lead in the first inning, benefiting from a hit by pitch and a walk before Angel Pagan brought home Justin Turner with a sacrifice fly. The Pirates came right back. Jose Tabata, Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen all singled to start off the game and it looked as if the Pirates offense was going to be able to bust out tonight. That was not the case and the Pirates went down pretty easy the rest of the night.
Tabata was by far, and away, the best Pirates hitter on the field as he collected three more hits tonight to raise his average to .264. He has been pretty hot over the last week or so going 9-for-17 in the last four games and having at least one hit in eight of his last 11 games. He was in a slump for some time but after watching him last season you just kinda had the feeling that he was going to snap out of it and it seems as if he has. With his increased walk rate he has become a really good leadoff man even if he doesn’t show any of the power. To be honest the power is a moot point for me if he is hitting the baseball and getting on base. We shouldn’t need him to be a power source since he will mostly hit in either the one or two spot.
Nobody else for the Pirates did anything of note offensively. Josh Harrison has two hits but the Pirates only could muster eight hits as opposed to the 13 from the Mets.
Along with the 13 hits the Mets were benefactors of some terrible defense by the Pirates. The Bucs were only charged with two errors but in my book they had at least four. To be fair the defense has been pretty good all season but it fell totally off the cliff tonight. Ronny Cedeno snapped his errorless streak at 44 games with a first inning boot and Andrew McCutchen was charged with the other error as he let a ball air out in the fourth inning that really opened up that inning. He was trying to throw out a runner on a single and the ball got past Dusty Brown and the hitter (name slips my mind) got all the way to third on the throw. You have to know your spots in those situations. It was early and it was only a one run game at the time and he airmailed the cutoff man and let the runners move up. There is a time and a place for plays like that and that wasn’t it. Matt Diaz was especially bad in the field today. He was not officially charged with an error but he should have had two. Let me put it this way, Diaz played right field and two balls that were hit to the wall (or close) to dead right field were triples. You tell me how that works.
Well can’t really do anything about it now. Hopefully James McDonald can fix the control issues up and put the Pirates back on the winning track tomorrow night.