Three of the first four games out of the All-Star break the Pirates have dropped and what was once a lead in the NL Central sits at a one game disadvantage as the Pirates dropped the first game in Colorado, falling 5-4 in ten innings. It was a pretty dull game until the ninth inning but the Rockies were able to get a few big hits in their half to down the Bucs.
To be honest they got a pretty decent outing from Jeff Karstens but tonight all it took was one bad inning where a well placed hit and run and a few singles fell in and the Rockies had scored four runs. The Pirates could only get a single run off the bat of Jeff Karstens though eight innings and the Rockies actually pitched pretty well and played some good defense so while a lot of people are kind of freaking out about the Pirates losing 3-of-4 out of the break this game wasn't really like the Milwaukee series.
In Milwaukee the Pirates were striking out a ton of times and not really giving themselves a chance to win. Tonight the Pirates only went down via one time but in the same respect they only walked once and didn't really square up to many baseballs. Like I said that is what happens in baseball. Sometimes you get the bounces and sometimes you don't. The Rockies are a team that the Pirates should have beat but sometimes I think people treat teams like this like they never lose. They do win games and sometimes they will beat you.
As I said above the Pirates got a lot of excitement in the ninth inning. They went into the inning down 4-1 but were able to get base hits from Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker before the game would get delayed for almost 45 minutes with one out and runners on second and third. Coming back from the rain delay the Rockies were able to bring in a lefty to face Pedro Alvarez and all he did was go oppo bomb to left field. It could have been an iconic home run for the season if the Pirates could have pulled it out, but they couldn't.
In the Rockies half of the ninth Jason Grilli came in and gave up a leadoff hit before recording a strikeout and then allowing a double to pinch hitter Jason Giambi. That set the stage for a Dexter Fowler walk-off sacrifice fly. Not how you want to end a game that looked to be going in the right direction after the rain delay.
As I said Karstens really didn't have a bad game tonight overall. There was the four runs he gave up in the fifth inning but overall he went seven innings and gave up only six hits and struck out four. The fifth inning saw Karstens give up four of his six hits and one of them was a nicely played hit and run and another was a horribly misplayed ball in right field by Josh Harrison. It is nice to see Karstens continue to pitch well after a rough outing before the break so hopefully he can continue to add to the staff and stabilize the back end of the rotation.
Harrison should never play in the outfield again. Not just because of tonight but because he is not an outfielder. I guess it doesn't help that pretty much on a nightly basis the Pirates have to trot out one of Harrison, Drew Sutton or Garrett Jones out to right field when none of them are any good in the outfield. I am not of the group that wants to call up Starling Marte because of what happens at the major league level because i believe he needs called up when he is ready but at what point do you take his play as of right now (which has been pretty good) and throw him into the outfield to have someone competent out there? I am not sure and that takes a lot to come from me and my stance on Marte.
Just as I say off and on throughout the season a loss like this sucks but if the Pirates come back and wins the next two days and people aren't going to remember this loss. Even the best teams in baseball lose 65-70 games a season so this isn't the end of the world.