Before we get into anything that actually went on today on the field that day baseball when you have to go to work is not cool. Couple that with the fact that the Pirates are off tomorrow and you are basically going two days without watching baseball if you have a day job. It sucks and it is going to be a long wait until Friday night.
Back to the game. The Pirates have a real problem closing out and collecting wins when they need them for a sweep. A few things on this front: 1) It is really hard to sweep a three game series and 2) This really isn't as bad as it seems. How isn't it bad? Well when you lose the chance to sweep that means that you have already won the series. The more series you win the better chance you have of having a good season. Does it suck we couldn't sweep the Reds? Yea, but winning the series is huge, especially when you only give up three runs in three games.
Today was another bad day for the offense. Five hits and they left eight on base while only going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Winning the two games was nice but it really sucks when you probably should have won the third game of the series and start to put some separationg between yourself and the rest of the NL Central.
Lets touch on the good first. Jeff Karstens threw another gem. 7.0 innings, seven hits, one earned run and 77 pitches. He did give up three runs but two of them were unearned thanks to Chase d'Arnaud. Karstens just continues to pitch well and I am done asking why and so should you. Enjoy what he is doing, becuase it doesn't get much better when he is on the mound.
That is it for the good.
There was a lot of bad and most of it was headed by d'Arnaud. He threw a ball over Lyle Overbay's head in the first inning that led to a run and then he booted another ball in the fifth, this one with two outs and the pitcher up, and it hurt just as bad as the pitcher came around to score two batters later. The Pirates need Ronny Cedeno back, soon.
The worst part of the game was in the seventh inning. The Pirates get two runners on with no outs and the top of the order comes up. Alex Presley has been the hottest hitter on the team not named Neil Walker so you feel pretty good about this and you are only down two runs. What happens next? Presley is asked to bunt and he bunts one right back to the pitcher who gets the easy force out at third. d'Arnaud comes up next and flies out and then the inning ends with a Walker strikeout. I have no idea why you would bunt Presley there. I am truely at a loss for words. What makes this worse is that d'Arnaud continues to bat in the two spot and has struggled mightily hitting. Setting up Chase in that situation just doesn't make sense when one of your best hitters is already up and you ask him to bunt. Jesus.
Whatever. Cardinals come in for a huge series on Friday. The Pirates get tomorrow off and some help might be coming on Friday. You could see any combination of Ronny Cedeno, Steve Pearce and Pedro Alvarez which will be a huge shot in the arm.