A better effort from the Pirates tonight, for half of the game, but the result stayed the same as they got swept in Los Angeles with another close loss. That it was a close loss doesn’t really matter but when you stay up as late as you needed to in order to watch this whole game you would like to have a win.
The first part of this game was just awful. Chris Capuano was the starter for the Dodgers and it was a guy that the Pirates have hit pretty well in his career but tonight he pretty much had the Pirates number. He only went 5.1 innings but struck out seven hitters in that time frame for a guy that really doesn’t have anything special in his arsenal. He did give up six hits and threw 81 pitches in his outing but the Pirates should have been all over this guy from the start. They did get after him in the fifth and sixth where the Bucs scored a run in each inning but alas it was not enough.
In true Jeff Karstens fashion he had a solid outing but didn’t get a ton of support. He gave up all three runs to the Dodgers which were all in the first inning. He only went five innings but that was mainly due to the fact that the Pirates had the bases loaded in the sixth inning with two outs and his spot was due in the order. He gave up seven hits and struck out three but that first inning really did him in as he gave up four of his seven hits. The rest of the game he basically cruised and got out of some tough jams. Basically he was just doing what he did all last year.
Like I said the offense really struggled but managed to get eight hits. Andrew McCutchen had a really nice night going 3-for-3 with a double and a walk and Casey McGehee was 2-for-4 to have another solid day at the plate but that accounts for five of the eight hits. There wasn’t much else happening outside of those two. Michael McKenry hit a monster home run for the first of the Pirates runs and there were a few hard hit balls right at people but for every one of those there was a Neil Walker crushing double play or one of three Pedro Alvarez strikeouts. Just frustrating.
I don’t think it can be this bad offensively all year but I guess the Pirates could surprise me. The pitching just keeps doing their job and all it takes is for someone to get hot along with the production they are already getting from McCutchen and McGehee. Not really much else to say. This is pretty hard to watch on the offensive end.
Alvarez was really bad tonight and it might have been the worst game for him thus far. While he only has one hit on the season I think he has had a decent approach at the plate but that went out the window tonight as two of his strikeouts he didn’t even get the bat off his shoulder. Really tough to watch because you want him to play well in the worst way.
The pen continues to be pretty much lights out. Chris Resop had a pair of great innings where he only gave up a hit and Jason Grilli came in and pitched a perfect inning. A lot of people had questions about what this pen could do this year and so far they are matching what the starters are doing which is giving the team good outings.