In the first inning of the game today the Pirates were able to string together back-to-back-to-back walks and Alfredo Simon walked in a run as part of one of those three walks. The Pirates sent eight batters to the plate in the first but were only able to scratch apart one run.
Charlie Morton did what he seemed to do all season. Things went really well for a stretch and then all at once things kinda came unraveled. He retired nine straight Reds at one point but in the fifth inning he started by hitting the seventh hitter and walking the eighth hitter. He then gave up a sacrifice bunt (free out!) before giving up a single to Billy Hamilton and then Chris Stewart threw away hit second ball of the night to plate another run. All told it was three runs on one hit and the error to turn a 2-1 game into a 4-2 game.
Morton wasn't bad but he wasn't good either. He went six innings and gave up four runs (three earned) and walked five. You are never going to have good results when you walk five hitters even if you are a ground ball guy who can erase some walks with ground balls. Well, Morton didn't get any double plays tonight and the fifth inning did him in. Just a frustrating end to an outing that started out pretty well.
The defense wasn't overly great as Stewart had a pair of throwing errors in attempts to throw out base stealer plus McCutchen added an error when he bottled a ball in center that allowed Hamilton turn a single into a double which he eventually scored from. Also something that didn't help on the defense side of the ball was that the Morton/Stewart due had five bases stolen off of them. Way far from ideal.
The Pirates ended the game with six hits but only three players had those six hits. McCutchen contented to stay ridiculously hot with a pair of hits while Starling Marte and Stewart each had a pair of hits. The offense had a glimmer of hope late as they had runners on first and second with one out in the ninth inning but Neil Walker flied out to the shortstop in shallow center and then McCutchen grounded out to end the game.
Another fairly frustrating loss. It is a little frustrating because the Pirates didn't strike out a lot tonight (four times) so they put the ball in play a good bit but had nothing to show for it.
Here is hoping they come back from it tomorrow. Bad night tonight for teams from Pittsburgh against teams from Ohio. Blah.