Pirates Morning Report: Giving Up The Gopher Ball.

Final Score: Pirates 2 Reds 6

Why The Pirates Lost: Rich Hill and Chase De Jong could not keep the ball in the park, which accounted for all 6 of the Reds runs. For whatever reason Hill and De Jong could not keep the ball down. They threw some pitches that were unbelievably high. Hill settled down after the first to pitch pretty well, but he gave up 3 runs in the first with 2 of them scoring on a Kevin Newman home run no less. It will probably be his only home run of the season. The Pirate bats seemed to be clicking during the first 4 innings when they got their 2 runs and 7 hits. Then they never got a hit in the last 5 innings and went down quietly to their first defeat.

Key Moment Of The Game: When Chase De Jong came into the game with the score 3-2 Reds in the bottom of the 6th, he just seemed out of sorts. It was like he had not warmed up enough on this cold day. He walked Wil Myers on four pitches, none of which were over 92 MPH and were not even close to the strike zone. He then gives up a single to Tyler Stephenson to put runners on 1st and 3rd. The Pirates almost got a break when Wil Myers tried to go from first to third, but Ji Hwan Bae’s throw was just enough offline that Myers barely beat it on a bang-bang play. Again, De Jong fell behind Jake Fraley 3-0, got one strike, then grooved a slider that was put out of the park and the game was essentially over. I wrote before that De Jong’s performance would be a key to the Pirates success, and this one was an F.

Next Game: Today, the Reds in Cincinnati. The puzzling pick up, Vince Velasquez will take the hill today and we will see if the Pirates found something that no one else had seen. Austen Hedges did not get a hit on April 1 and I’m not fooling. Probably won’t get a chance tomorrow as Delay is likely to start. The suspense continues, will Austen Hedges get a hit in April?

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