Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pirates Game 70 Recap - Reds 6, Pirates 5

Sometimes I have no idea how the Pirates win games, or are even games. Last night was another one of those games only this time they didn't win it. They had chances to and despite getting hit around Brandon Cumpton gave them a six inning, three run start but the Pirates bullpen continues to be pretty awful and really put them behind the eight ball.

Josh Harrison continues to play some great baseball and when the Pirates needed a big hit, he got it. It started in the second inning when he doubled in the game tying run off Johnny Cueto and then with the Pirates down a run in the seventh and two outs he singled home Ike Davis. All told Harrison went 4-for-5 and has been one of the best offensive players on the team for some time now. Overall I don't think that Harrison is the answer but he needs to be on the field every day. It will be interesting to see what happens when Neil Walker comes back.

Cumpton is really hard to pinpoint. I had semi high expectations for him when he came back into the rotation after Wandy Rodriguez was let go but since that time Cumpton hasn't been very good, at all. Tonight he was hit around a good bit but when he needed to get tough outs he was able to get them. The fourth inning is where it almost got away from him as the Reds as they scored a pair of runs on four hits and left the bases loaded. Cumpton was just good enough to give the Pirates a chance and even though he was one pitch away from busting at the seams he didn't let that happen.

The difference in the game, as I said earlier, was the bullpen. After Cumpton exited the game the ball was turned over to Justin Wilson who gave up a pair of runs. Then after the Harrison single to tie the game in a three run bottom of the seventh inning the game was looking like it would need extras. That is when Clint Hurdle turned to Jason Grilli to face the 2-3-4 hitters, the heart of the Reds order. This is about how things went:



That is exactly what happened. The two hitter, Todd Frazier, hit a bomb off Grilli and that was the ballgame.

Now the Grilli inning wasn't all that killed the Pirates. There was some horrendous base running (Jose Tabata throw out trying to steal second with Gregory Polanco at the plate, Harrison trying to go from first to third on a ball hit right at the shortstop) and leaving 13 guys on base, especially late when they had a chance to take the lead.

Sometimes I really don't understand how this team still hangs around. Aside from bullpen issues the Pirates did a lot of things right against Miami and looked like a really good team in doing so. Then they play Cincinnati and come damn close to beating them in a game where their stud throws only to toss away the game because they can't do fundamental things. It is wildly frustrating to watch sometimes and the end of the game continued that trend.

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