Final Score: Pirates 2 Rays 3
Why The Pirates Loss: Two words, Zach Eflin, another pitcher who has suddenly found it, after 7 years of just average performance. Over 7 innings he gave up no runs, 3 hits, no walks, and struck out 10, while only using 80 pitches. This improved his record to 4-0 with an ERA of 2.25. The Rays hit 3 solo homers and with that kind of pitching, it was enough to send the Pirates to their 4th straight loss. The Pirates made it interesting in the 9th to close the gap to 3-2 but could not push across the tying run. Things just got worse when Vince Velasquez had some kind of elbow pain and had to leave the game after the 3rd inning. There are no more updates on the Pirate website which is about as current as getting updates on the Civil War. At the very least you have to figure he is going on the IL and missing at least 2-3 starts. It could be worse the way the Pirates luck has been going.
The Key Moment Of The Game: The Pirates offense was even worse yesterday as they limped into the 9th inning trailing 3-0. The Pirates started getting some breaks. With one out Tucupita Marcano got hit with a pitch on an 0-2 count. Then Taylor Walls got greedy on a ground ball by Bryan Reynolds trying to get a double play by tagging Marcano before throwing to first and dropped the ball. McCutchen struck out, but Carlos Santana roped a double into right center field to score 2 runs. After a walk, Connor Joe struck out to end the game, with the Pirates not taking full advantage of the Rays generosity.
Next Game: Tonight, Blue Jays, in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, home cooking will get the Pirates back on track. This begins a 6 game homestand against the Blue Jays and the Rockies. The Pirates must go at least 4-2. Despite all the problems, the Pirates are still in 1st place. Rich (The Hit Where They Are Pitcher) Hill will take the mound for the Pirates. This does not give you a warm fuzzy feeling with the strong hitting Blue Jays. Will we snap the streak tonight, only The Shadow Knows.