Sometimes I wonder how Jeff Locke gets things done. OK, most times I wonder how Locke gets things done. He was in trouble pretty much every single one of his seven innings despiteonly giving up four hits. It seemed like every inning the Reds had runners either on the corners or at least one on second base and in each instance he was able to pitch out of it. Now I know I am talking it up more than it really was but that is what it feels like.
Locke went seven strong innings, giving up four hits, striking out three, and walking three. He lowered his ERA to 2.01 and has given up only seven hits in his past three starts. What sucks is that the Pirates offense hasn't been very good recently and while they held on to a 1-0 lead all it took was a bomb from Jay Bruce that resulted in Jason Grilli's first blown save and then a Brandon Phillips single up the middle off Vin Mazzaro in the 13th inning.
What this really comes down to is the Pirates went 0-8 with runners in scoring position and left 14 guys on base. At some point you just run into a pitch with a runner in scoring position even if you just chalk it up to the law of averages. That didn't happen last night. The Pirates offense hasn't been terrible over the last two weeks as they are right at league average with a 100 wRC+ and a below average .311 wOBA but it could be a lot worse.
The Pirates offense wasn't good last night and they wasted another opportunity. There is a part of me that wants to say that these kind of games just happen but there is also another part of me that is rationalizing that this Pirates offense is a below average one with a lot of capable hitters that just are decent/good with only McCutchen being the great one. They will have good day (like last week) and bad days (like last night) and you just have to understand that and roll with it.
Here is to hoping they can get the series split today.