Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pirates Game 6 Recap - Dodgers 6, Pirates 2

-Another disappointing game. This was much of the same even if the game started out different but it is what it is I guess. The Pirates actually did a nice job at the beginning of the game as Starling Marte singled to open the game and then Andrew McCutchen followed up with a two run bomb to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead and there was even a walk mixed into the inning. I mean I had no idea what was going on and who the team was that was playing the Dodgers but I soon found out.

-After the first inning the Pirates collected only two hits and one walk. They never threatened again the rest of the game despite getting in to a bunch of really good hitters counts but they would all result in weakly hit balls in the infield or strikeouts.

-The Dodgers did all of their damage at the top of the order. The first five hitters for the Dodgers collected all but one of their hits as Adrian Gonzalez had a monster game going 3-of-4 with four runs batted in despite not having an extra base hit.

-Jeff Locke wasn't horrible but he really wasn't great either. He was just good. He gave up four runs in six innings of work also giving up eight hits and walking one. He didn't look great all the time but he was able to get some key outs and force some ground balls when he needed them but the top of the lineup for the Dodgers just feasted off of him all day. Normally this would be a pretty good start out of your number five starter but with the way the Pirate offense has been going that was basically a death sentence for the Bucs.

-Really a shame that the Pirates still couldn't come up with any offense. Hyun-Jin Ryu gave up a ton of hits in his last outing and really didn't bring anything overpowering or stuff that was fooling the Pirates hitters. They are just lost at the plate and not squaring baseballs up. So far through six games the Pirates have one of the best total pitching staffs in the entire league and they have one win to show for it.

-Marte had a pretty nice day. He had a pair of hits for the second consecutive day and also was able to reach via a bunt base hit early. Not too many guys on the Pirates are able to do stuff like that but it is a nice little piece to have. If he can sneak a handful of those in this season then it will be great for the Pirates to have someone on base in front of Neil Walker and McCutchen. I still think that Marte is a ways off of where he needs to be offensively but he has had a nice past couple of games for a team that has no bright spots.

-Michael McKenry got the start behind the plate and actually looked pretty well offensively. He got robbed in the first inning on a ball right down the line and then in his second at bat he stung a ball right at Carl Crawford in left field. He came up hitless but swung the bat pretty well. If the Pirates can keep his at bats under control I think he will do a nice job. When he starts to get every day at bats he really struggles but in small spurts he can be a nice spark plug for the offense. Too bad the Pirates need more than that now.

-Walker is really starting to press. His first two at bats he had Marte on first with no outs and both times he popped up to the infield. You can see the frustration on his face after at bats which sucks but he needs to breathe and put some good swings on the ball. He is a key cog in the offense so he almost has to.

-You never want to have to platoon your number one pick from a few years ago but Pedro Alvarez looks brutally bad against left handed pitchers. You could maybe understand it last night against Clayton Kershaw but today he really looked bad again striking out a pair of times.

-Maybe the offense will show up tomorrow. Maybe not. Who knows.

-Actually, I know I have been pretty pessimistic which is unlike me as I have been label an "apologist" but we are only six games into the season. While it might seem impossible the Pirates could start to get on a roll tomorrow and continue that for a while. I still think it is pretty early and what makes that hard to say/hear is by what happened last year. It would be almost impossible for the Pirates to be this bad all season so hopefully they break out sooner than later.

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