Coming into the game tonight the Pirates had won 12 of their last 15 games. They were playing some pretty good baseball and finally getting league average offense during that span and still getting some pretty good pitching. There are 162 games in a major league baseball season. You will have some that are blowout wins (few and far between for the Pirates), those ballgames that are close (seems to be what all the Pirates play) and games where the Pirates just don't have it. That last type of game was tonight. They lost 8-6 but I don't really think it ever felt that close. Whatever.
Brad Lincoln got another spot start tonight and I have talked a good bit about how I like him a lot better as a guy that comes out of the pen rather than a starter and today was pretty much why. When you only have two pitches (as Lincoln does) you really have to have both of those pitches on pretty much every start to have a chance to win. If you only have one of them major league teams are going to be able to get to you and tonight we saw some of that. It wasn't as much of him not having one pitch and having another but the control just wasn't there. When you only really have two options then you don't have a ton of options if something isn't going right. It wasn't a good night, at all. he was only able to go 4.1 innings (no idea why he started the fifth inning) and was tagged for four runs on 87 pitches. I was never a big fan of Lincoln as a starter but it wasn't just because of tonight that I am saying all this. I do think they need to look elsewhere for another spot starter if they continue to need one.
Overall it was just one of those nights for the pitching staff. They have been so good all year but the Orioles came out and pounded the baseball to the tune of 15 hits including three home runs. Chris Resop got hit around pretty badly as he came in to pitch the sixth inning and gave up four runs on three hits but was also hurt by two errors. I mean it hurt that he contributed one of the errors but it was just an ugly inning. Doug Slaton actually three a pair of scoreless innings only giving up two hits so that was good. He has still yet to give up a run for the Pirates this year.
The offense wasn't terrible as a whole. They had ten hits and every position player but Pedro Alvarez and Rod Barajas had a hit. That might have worked against them because they had some chances with runners on base but couldn't really capitalize. They once again scored in the first inning with Matt Hague knocking in a run but after that it was pretty cold until a Casey McGehee home run in the fifth but the big inning by the Orioles in the sixth really made it a moot point.
Things got semi interesting in the ninth inning. After a one out walk to Alex Presley, Neil Walker went deeeeeeep to left centerfield to cut the lead to only two with the big part of the lineup coming up. But alas the Pirates didn't get a lot done as Andrew McCutchen struck out and McGehee grounded out to third. Still, six runs is huge compared to what this team was doing at the beginning of the year but most nights if they score six runs they win.
Adam Jones is really good at baseball. He had four hits tonight with a home run and a double and is a fun player to watch at the plate much like McCutchen is. While I don't like watching him kill the Pirates pitching staff it is always fun to watch good hitters hit.
All told this was just a kind of game that happens to every team. Does it suck that the Pirates have Kevin Correia going tomorrow against this good offense? Yes, but hopefully he can put something together and the offense can tack up a few more runs. The great thing about baseball is that there is another game the next day. This game sucked big time but tomorrow is another chance to get into the win column