Final Score: Pirates 1 Nationals 3
Why the Pirates Lost: Sounds like a broken record but another silent night for the Pirate bats, getting 5 singles and a home run, plus striking out 13 times. Shelton was asleep at the wheel by not bringing in a left hander in to face Yadiel Hernandez. His spits are a little better against left handers but slugs less against them 353 to 408. He wasn’t 12 for 24 against lefties like Choi of Tampa Bay when Shelton went for the lefty in that game. For the second straight time trying to get 2 innings of relief out of Will Crow proved disastrous. Five straight losses all bullpen related. Quintana seemed to get back on track with a nice 6 innings allowing only a 1st inning run on 4 hits.
The Key Moment of The Game: The winning double by Yadiel Hernandez to take the lead 3-1 in the bottom of the 8th. The Pirates are losing the close ones now, which they did not do in the early part of the season. The bullpen, which was used so unnecessarily in the first part of the season, seems to be on the verge of collapse and we are not even in July yet. Things could get a lot worse soon. Remember the Nationals stink.
Next game: This afternoon, Nationals in D. C. Mitch Keller takes the hill and hopefully will continue to look like a major league pitcher. It is a day game, so could we see the dynamic duo of Van Meter and Chang. A guarantee for a 6th straight loss. The last 3 games the Pirates have scored 5 runs. They are not quite there yet but they are getting close to last place in some of the more important hitting stats. No kind of breakout seems to be in the near future. For the next 88 games, I hope you like low scoring.