While the pitching faltered in a three game sweep to the Orioles the hitting was the problem tonight in what turned out to be one of the most frustrating losses for the Pirates this season. Actually you might disagree with me on that statement but so far this year I haven't been this pissed during a game and it was really tough to deal with.
James McDonald came out and actually didn't pitch well at all but someone was able to gut his way through six innings only giving up one run on three hits and he got zero support from his offense. I know you might look at that line and thing that JMac had a good game but in reality he really didn't. He threw 101 pitches and only 54 of those were for strikes. He didn't seem to know where any of his pitches were going and the slider wasn't working. I am not sure how he did it but he go through six innings and gave the team an unreal chance to win.
The offense was just bad. Justin Masterson hasn't been great this season but he is still a pretty good arm but he dominated the Pirates offense that came into the night hitting pretty well. Masterson struck out nine in seven innings of work and at one point struck out six of seven Pirates early in the game.
After going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position against the Orioles yesterday the Pirates were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position tonight. Jose Tabata had a terrible at bat with the bases loaded and two outs and then Garrett Jones couldn't knock home Neil Walker from third base with one out. Just some really terrible at bats which might have hit rock bottom with Alex Presley's final at bat with runners on second and third. Masterson was struggling bad as he Josh Harrison and threw a wild pitch on the first pitch to Presley which went to the backstop. Both of these pitches were feet off the plate so common sense says that you don't swing until he shows you that he can throw a strike. What does Presley do? Swings at the next two pitches, the first in the dirt, the second outside, and he flies out. Just a terrible at bat.
Presley did have a great play in the field to cut down a run in the bottom of the seventh inning when he caught a line drive and then threw Johnny Damon out at home but I am not sure it makes up for the at bat. I know I am singling out Presley here but I am just frustrated and this was one of the things that really frustrates me. He wasn't the only problem tonight, but he was part of it. Blame goes all the way around.
A.J. Burnett tomorrow. I really don't want to think about this game any more.