I hope everyone had a great and safe holiday. It was a great day to be outside (before it rained at night, well at least it did where I was) and to be in the pool and eat unlimited grilled meat products and to set off fireworks. Great day to celebrate this great nation and the people that keep us safe. It doesn't get said enough but thank you to all the troops out there who are the real heroes of the nation.
Back to the Pirates. They took a loss to the Phillies, again, and dropped their first series since losing two of three to the Reds back in mid-June. Yesterday it was the Phillies who were getting a ton of hits and knocked out Gerrit Cole after only 5.1 innings as they had eight hits and scored three runs off the Pirates fireballer.
The Pirates got on the board early with a pair of runs on an Andrew McCutchen single but Philadelphia really took over from there. They got one back in the fifth and then four runs in the sixth inning. The Pirates made a comeback late as they scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning to make it a manageable deficit but couldn't complete the comeback.
Starling Marte and Jose Tabata each had a pair of hits and were the only Pirates to have more than one. Most people really have brushed off Tabata after a pretty bad past two seasons but he has actually played pretty well with his platoon option this year. Although he only has 97 plate appearances on the year (thanks to an injury) he is sporting a .284/.344./.420 which is exactly the kind of guy the Pirates need in the abyss that has become right field. I am not saying Tabata is the cure for the woes of right field but he certainly can help.
The bottom of the lineup really struggled as Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, and Clint Barmes combined to go 1-for-11. That isn't going to cut it. Alvarez had the only hit of the group but also struck out three times. Walker has been struggling a good bit all year and he was turned around right handed with Cole Hamels on the bump and his numbers as a right handed hitter (.196/.246/.196) have been pretty bad this year and are much worse over his career than his numbers as a left handed hitter. Shouldn't take getting a platoon option infield off the board right now.
Anyways, the Pirates lost a series for the first time in almost a month and that isn't the end of the world. The Cardinals lost and the Reds got rained out so the Pirates are still sitting alright in the Central. The Pirates now have a three game series at the Cubs and are at home against the Athletics and Mets before the break. Finish strong.