It feels like I haven't been here in a while. The lights still work? Good. Thanks for whoever was paying that bill. Anyways, with like a billion other things going on in my life this was the first time I got to sit down and watch a Pirates game in like a week. Not saying it was fun to watch but damn it felt good to be back.
The game the Pirates played last night are the games they have to win. Up 2-1 in the eighth innings the Pirates proceeded to give up five runs to the Marlins on five hits and three walks between Jared Hughes, Justin Wilson, and Jeanmar Gomez before Stolmy Pimentel finally got the final out of the eighth. With the bases loaded and one out Wilson walked in the game tying run and then walked in the game-winning run a batter later. Gomez then came in and gave up a single, a run scoring fielders choice, and a double. Yay shitty bullpen.
What really has me scratching my head is the use of the bullpen. It is no secret that the Pirates bullpen hasn't been good this year and last night the Pirates go through a difficult eighth inning without using their top-two bullpen arms. Now Tony Watson had pitched three straight games before the off day and he was unavailable for an extra day off. Fine, no problem with that because we know Watson can't pitch every game. You know who could have pitched? Mark Melancon. Melancon has recorded two outs and thrown 18 pitches in August and last night he sat.
You know why he sat? Because it wasn't the ninth inning. This is starting to get ridiculous. I know Clint Hurdle said he doesn't manage for the save stat but last night he did. The Pirates had the bases loaded with one out while they were up one. Is there a more appropriate time for possibly your best reliever to come into the game? Instead Wilson and Gomez come in and a one run lead is a four run deficit. Melancon doesn't throw at all. This is the kind of bullshit that I can't stand about Hurdle. Screw the save stat and manage to win the game. You are without your top hitter and Neil Walker had been taken out of the game. It's not as if a lineup with Michael Martin, Jayson Nix, and Chris Stewart were going to do a lot so you have to play to win the game today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
Melancon was available and a high leverage situation came up and he didn't throw. One person doesn't win or lose games but Hurdle did the team no favors with his bullpen management.
That isn't to say there weren't other problems. The offense didn't get much done to support Charlie Morton. The offense plated a pair of runs off Marlins starter Brad Hand and were kept in check nearly the entire game. I mentioned before that the offense was thin and Starling Marte was just returning from the DL so hits and runs were going to be hard to come by. That made it even more important to shut down the Marlins over the final two innings and three Pirates relievers couldn't do that.
That was a frustrating game to watch.