I wasn't able to watch the first half of this game because I was on the on the road back from Iowa. No, it isn't as fun as you think it would be. I can't really comment on the game as a whole, especially the start by Jeff Locke but from what I could gather from the radio was that Locke was much better today. It doesn't help that the defense gave up a few of the runs but when you fall behind 5-0 after four and a half innings you aren't going to win many games.
The good thing was that the Pirates were able to come the whole way back. They tied the score in the sixth inning and then tied the score again in the seventh inning after Justin Wilson gave up a run. The Pirates gave back the lead in the eighth inning thanks to a really puzzling decision to leave Bryan Morris in the game. The Pirate fell behind 7-6 and never were able to complete the late game comeback.
Now my big problem isn't that Morris started the inning. Should he have started the inning? No, he shouldn't have. With Tony Watson fresh in the pen and two left handed hitters coming up but if that is what Clint Hurdle wanted to do then so be it. The problem is that Hurdle stuck with Morris when he put runners on first and third with one out with a left handed hitter coming up. Instead of going with a better option like Mark Melancon or Watson he stuck with Morris. Predictably it did not work out. This is not a first time thing with Hurdle which makes it worse. I didn't hear his explanation and I don't need to. This isn't a hindsight evaluation, it was a bad decision at the time and it still is a bad decision. This needs to stop.
Now there were a lot of things that went wrong with the night. They include:
1) Giving behind 5-0 before you score
2) Pedro Alvarez doubles to the left center gap with two outs in the fifth inning of a tie game. Andrew McCutchen was on first. He would have scored had the ball not hoped into the stand. The ball did hop into the stands. Go ahead run does not score.
3) Garrett Jones come to the plate in the sixth inning with a runner on third and one out after the Pirates tied the game at five in the sixth inning. He popped out to very shallow center field.
4) Brining Morris into the game in the eighth inning of a tie game when he was the fourth best option in the pen at the time.
All of those things were a part of the Pirates loss today. The fact remains that when you score six runs and gather 15 hits you should win the game. I think we could probably prioritize those four things (and more I am probably missing) but this was a tough game to swallow.
Go get 'em tomorrow.