I was at both the games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon and both games did not really go as I thought they would. First on Saturday they dropped a close 2-1 game and then on Sunday they just got smoked 8-2. In both instances the Pirates offense wasn't really anywhere to be found and the lineup is starting to become insanely frustrating to watch on a daily basis.
On Sunday the Pirates got off to a really good start. A leadoff single from Starling Marte and a two-run bomb from Gregory Polanco made it 2-0 and with Charlie Morton on the bump I thought they might be able to add on a run or two and with how bad the Padres offense has been maybe the Pirates could figure it out. They didn't on any of those accounts.
The game really got out of control in the fifth inning when the Padres tacked on four runs to take a three run lead and I didn't have a good feeling the Pirates were going to get another run, let alone three. This was really frustrating to watch and with the bottom of the lineup consisting of Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart, and the pitcher is wasn't really all that great going in.
Morton cruised through the first three innings of perfect baseball but things started coming part in the fourth. He walked a batter which scored on a two-out single. In the fifth inning the Padres loaded the bases which were cleared by a triple from Seth Smith. Smith then scored on a wild pitch. It went from great to terrible all in the span of an inning.
What I don't really understand is how Clint Hurdle, or whomever, thinks that playing Jayson Nix is better than playing Pedro Alvarez. OK, if it was against a left handed pitcher then sitting Alvarez isn't a huge problem but Tyson Ross is a right handed pitcher and it is ridiculous to think that Nix is better than Alvarez. Sure Pedro is throwing the ball into the stands on what seems like a daily basis but I am not sure what Nix brings to the lineup. Just frustrating.
This bullshit with playing with a 23-man roster has to stop. If Andrew McCutchen was the only player hurt and they were keeping him off the DL to get him back a few games sooner I can see the reason, but with Neil Walker also out then it is foolish to not put someone on the DL. You might say this hasn't cost the Pirates yet but in the past couple games they have had to double-switch out players like Marte and Polanco in the later innings so they don't have to burn a bench bat for one at-bat. Put one, or both, of those guys on the DL and pretend like you know what you are doing. The team has done this multiple times over the past few years and it's stupid. I am not saying anyone they bring up is going to set the world on fire but at least they have a chance to play, which is something you can't say about two players that are currently on the 25 man roster.
The Pirates need to figure their shit out soon. They have a unique home-and-home with the Tigers for four total games (two in Pittsburgh and two in Detroit) and if they are going to continue to play with a 23 man roster then they aren't going to be very successful.