Pirate Morning Report: Looking For The .143 Miracle

Final Score: Pirates 1 Rays 4

Why The Pirates Loss: Despite a below average performance by Roansy Contreras, this game was lost because of a lack of timely hitting and some questionable strategy. The Pirates got 5 hits, added 6 walks, but could only muster 1 run. They were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. Contreras did not pitch horribly, but did walk 4 batters, gave up a home run and threw 99 pitches in 5 and 1/3 innings. Did not have a lot of luck in the bottom of the 5th, as the Rays posted 2 runs on a walk, a pop up single that should have been caught, a hard single just out of the reach of the defenseless Mark Mathias, and a double steal. It was just one of those games, as the Pirates dropped their 2nd game in a row to fall to 20-10

Key Moment Of The Game: After the Rays took the lead in the bottom of the 5th, the Pirates started the 6th inning with a bang, on a Connor Joe double and Castro getting hit by a pitch to put runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Tucupita Marcano pinch hitting for the gloveless Mathias, apparently was told to sacrifice bunt to see if a .143 hitter could get 2 runs home. I don’t have a big problem with the sacrifice bunt, if that was indeed the plan, but you have to pinch hit for Hedges if you are going to go that route. To add insult to injury the umpires missed a balk that would have brought a run home. Hedges then struck out and Ke’Bryan Hayes on a 3-1 pitch swung at a ball that as Bob Prince use to say ” He couldn’t have hit with a bed slat”. He took a called 3rd strike to end the inning and the Pirates hopes of a comeback.

Next Game: Tonight, the Rays in Tampa Bay. Mitch Keller will try and get the Pirates back on track. This is a little like the game following last week’s Dodger loss, the Pirates don’t have to win tonight but they have to play a better all around game. One final thought, the next time you sacrifice two runners to 2nd and 3rd with no one out and you have the .143 catcher coming to the plate, put in the .390 hitting catcher. No charge for the tip.

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