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.
Final Score: Pirates 4 Rays 2
Why the Pirates Lost: Again, Roansy Contreas was not that sharp walking 5 batters in 5 innings, including 4 in one inning to score the 1st Ray run. He also benefitted from some hard-hit balls going directly to fielders. He still only gave up the one run, so he knows how to bear down when the going gets tough. You have to like the kid. Mainly, the Pirates bats were quiet, and it was another big strike out day with 12 Pirates going down on strikes. Yu Chang played, unfortunately and did get a hit. However, he made the last out of the game in typical Pirate fashion. With 2 out, Jack Suwinski walked and up strode the worthless Chang. Oneil Cruz was on deck. The first pitch was a ball which Chang took. The next pitch was even lower, and yet he swung, even though the Pirates desperately needed another runner on base. The third pitch was another ball, which should have made the count 3-0. Of course, Chang swung and hit a routine flyball to end the game. He did not have a clue on what to do or what was needed at that moment. Chang, you da man.
Key moment of the game: The missed tag by Diego Castillo in the bottom of the 7th proved to be the Pirates undoing. I guess it is ok for Castillo to learn and develop at the big-league level, but not Cruz. Before that, the Shadow wanted to make sure that the Rays had every opportunity to win the game, by bringing a left hander in to face Ji-Man Choi. Choi this year is 12 for 24 against left-handed pitching. Now he is 13 for 25, and the Rays went ahead to stay and then added on 2 more runs. They don’t call Shelton mister analytics for nothing.
Next Game: Tonight, The Nationals in D. C. The competition drops considerably with the Nationals. Shelton will have to burn the midnight oil to try to ensure that we lose to these guys. He may have to pull out all stops, by making sure that Chang plays in all the games, and Vogelbach is in the field. They haven’t announced the starting pitcher, but there is a rumor that it might be Bob Walk.
FINAL SCORE: PIRATES 2 DIAMONDBACKS 1
WHY THE PIRATES WON: FIRST GREAT PITCHING BY STARTER ROANSY CONTRERAS AND THE BULLPEN HELD THE DIAMONDBACKS TO 1 RUN. THE PIRATES WERE PRETTY INEPT IN ALL OTHER PHASES OF THE GAME. THEY HAD FIELDING ERRORS AND BASE RUNNING BLUNDERS TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE NOT GOING TO SCORE. THERE WAS ONE STRETCH OF THE GAME WHERE THEY MADE 18 STRAIGHT OUTS. THEN WITH SOME HELP FROM WALKS AND A DRIPPLER TO BEAT THE SHIFT, THE PIRATES LOADED THE BASES WITH 2 OUT IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 8TH. KE’BRYAN HAYES THEN STRUCK OUT TO END THE INNING. IT LOOKED LIKE THE PIRATES WERE GOING TO LOSE 1-0 AND CONTRERAS WAS GOING TO SUFFER A TOUGH LOSS. THEN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH HAPPENED.
KEY MOMENT OF THE GAME: IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 9TH BRYAN REYNOLDS WAS SOMEHOW ABLE TO GET A GROUND BALL THROUGH THE SHIFT INTO RIGHT FIELD FOR A BASE HIT. JACK SUWINSKI AND CLOSER MARK MELANCON BATTLED TO A 3-2 COUNT WITH MANY FOUL BALLS AFTER THAT. THEN ON A SINKING CURVE BALL, SUWINSKI WAS ABLE TO BARREL IT UP FOR THE WINNING HOME RUN.
NEXT GAME: THIS AFTERNOON, DIAMONDBACKS IN PITTSBURGH. ANOTHER SUNDAY AFTERNOON LINE UP WILL BE INTERESTING. WHAT CAN SHELTON CONCOCT UP, ONLY THE SHADOW KNOWS FOR SURE.
FINAL SCORE: PIRATES 4 ST. LOUIS 18
WHY THE PIRATES LOST: SOMEBODY TOLD BRYCE WILSON THAT HE WOULD ONLY BE PITCHING BATTING PRACTICE TO THE CARDINALS TODAY AND HE BELIEVED THEM. THE GAME STARTED AT 11:30, WAY TO EARLY FOR THE PIRATES. EVEN THOUGH NOTHING MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN A GAME LIKE THIS, THE PIRATES CONTINUE TO PUT OUT THESE STRANGE LINE UPS. ANOTHER INFIELDER IN RIGHT FIELD AND HE COULD NOT THROW A RUNNER OUT AT THE PLATE FROM 170 FEET. KE’BRYAN HAYES MADE ANOTHER ERROR TODAY. I DON’T THINK ARENADO WILL HAVE TO BE WORRIED ABOUT HAYES STOPPING HIS GOLD GLOVE STREAK THIS YEAR, OR IN THE NEAR FUTURE. FINALLY, THE PIRATES SENT A REQUEST TO THE LEAGUE OFFICE, THAT FROM NOW ON THEIR OPPONENTS HAVE TO HAVE A POSITION PLAYER PITCH AT LEAST ONE INNING, IN EVERY GAME. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY THE PIRATES HAVE A CHANCE AT SCORING RUNS.
KEY MOMENT OF THE GAME: WHEN BRYCE WILSON THROUGH A PITCH.
NEXT GAME: TONIGHT, ROCKIES IN PITTSBURGH. THE PIRATES ARE 9-13 AT HOME AND THE ROCKIES ARE 5-10 ON THE ROAD. EXPECT SOME GREAT BASEBALL. I HEAR THAT SHELTON IS THINKING OF STARTING REYNOLDS, GAMEL, AND SUWINSKI IN THE INFIELD. HE IS PUTTING HAYES, CASTRO, AND CHAVIS, IN LEFT, CENTER, AND RIGHT. WHY NOT? I AM SURE THE PIRATE ANNOUNCERS WILL BE ABLE TO JUSTIFY THOSE MOVES.
FINAL SCORE: PIRATES 2 PADRES 5
WHY THE PIRATES LOST: IT BEGAN WITH THE LINE UP CARD AND WENT DOWN HILL FROM THERE. THIS TEAM DID NOT FIELD WELL, HAD VERY POOR BASE RUNNING AND THE BULLPEN DID NOT PERFORM WELL, PARTICULARLY IN THE NINTH INNING. A SOLID PERFORMANCE BY MITCH KELLER WAS WASTED, AS SHELTON CHOSE NOT TO PLAY CHAVIS AND CASTILLO. THIS TEAM IS BEGINNING TO SHOW THAT THEY HAVE NO BASEBALL SENSE, EVEN FROM THEIR BETTER PLAYERS.
KEY PLAY OF THE GAME: THE PIRATES LOADED THE BASES WITH NOBODY OUT IN THE BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH. FINALLY, MICHAEL CHAVIS GOT INTO THE GAME, AND HIT A SACRIFICE FLY, TO BRING THE PIRATES WITHIN ONE RUN. HOWEVER, WHEN THE THROW CAME ALL THE WAY TO THE PLATE, NEITHER OF THE TWO PIRATE RUNNERS ADVAN CED TO THIRD AND SECOND, WHICH THEY COULD OF DONE EASILY. DIEGO CASTILLO PINCH HIT NEXT AND HIT INTO AN INNING ENDING DOUBLE PLAY, WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE, IF THE RUNNERS HAD MOVED UP. IF THE PADRES HAD PLAYED THE INFIELD IN, IT MAY HAVE GONE FOR A HIT AND PUT THE PIRATES IN THE LEAD
NEXT GAME: TUESDAY IN DETROIT. ITS HARD TO BELIEVE, BUT THE PIRATES ARE GOING TO PLAY FIVE GAMES ON THE ROAD AGAINST TEAMS WITH A WORSE RECORD THAN THEIRS. IT WILL TAKE ALL OF SHELTON’S IMAGINATION TO COME UP WITH LINE UPS THAT CAN LOSE TO THESE TEAMS, BUT I AM SURE HE WILL BE UP TO THE TASK. I CAN’T WAIT.
FINAL SCORE: PIRATES 7 PADRES 6 IN 10 INNINGS
WHY THE PIRATES WON: THE PIRATES BATS CAME ALIVE AND MICHAEL CHAVIS HIT A HOME RUN TO TIE THE GAME 5-5 IN THE EIGHTH. THE BULLPEN WAS LESS THAN STELLAR BUT THE PIRATES DID GET A FAIR START FROM J. T. BRUBAKER GOING FIVE INNINGS AND GIVING UP A THREE RUN HOMER TO ERIC HOSMER. THE PIRATES WINNING RUN SCORED, THANKS TO THE SAME HOSMER’S THREE BASE ERROR, WHICH ALLOWED KE’BRYAN HAYES TO SCORE FROM FIRST BASE.
KEY PLAY OF THE GAME: THE PIRATES TIED THE GAME 3-3 IN THE BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH WHEN BRYAN REYNOLD’S DOUBLE PLAY BALL WAS NOT TURNED BY THE PADRES, BECAUSE OF A BIZARRE SPIN MOVE, BY PADRE SHORTSTOP HA-SEONG KIM. IF THEY TURN THE DP, LIKE THEY SHOULD HAVE, THE RUN DOES NOT SCORE AND THE GAME WOULD NOT HAVE GONE INTO EXTRA INNINGS. THE FINAL WOULD HAVE BEEN 5-4 PADRES.
NEXT GAME: TODAY PADRES AT PITTSBURGH. PIRATES WERE ABLE TO SNAP THE FOUR GAME LOSING STREAK THANKS TO SOME SHODDY PADRE DEFENSE. THE SUNDAY STARTING LINE UP MAY GUARANTEE THE START OF ANOTHER LOSING STREAK. ONLY THE SHELTON KNOWS.
FINAL SCORE: PIRATES 3 PADRES 7
WHY THE PIRATES LOST: BAD PITCHING THROUGHOUT THE GAME WAS THE MAIN REASON THE PIRATES LOST. ZACH THOMPSON,EVEN THOUGH HE GAVE UP ONLY THREE HITS, STILL SURRENDERED FOUR RUNS IN FOUR AND A THIRD INNINGS. RELIEVERS FLETCHER, HEMBREE AND SAM (I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL I’M DOING) HOWARD, EACH GAVE UP A RUN, IN AN INNING OR LESS OF WORK. THE PIRATES COULD ONLY MUSTER THREE RUNS ON TEN HITS AND TWO WALKS. NEEDLESS TO SAY THEY WERE NOT VERY CLUTCH.
KEY PLAY OF THE GAME: THE KE’BRYAN HAYES HOT SHOT UP THE MIDDLE THAT BOUNCED OFF YU DARVISH SO HARD THAT MANNY MACHADO WAS ABLE TO THROW HAYES OUT AT FIRST BASE. EVEN THOUGH THE PIRATES DID SCORE THEIR THIRD RUN IN THAT INNING TO MAKE THE SCORE FOUR TO THREE, THIS PREVENTED THE PIRATES FROM POSSIBLY HAVING A BIG INNING.
NEXT GAME: TONIGHT PADRES IN PITTSBURGH. THE PIRATES ARE ON A FOUR GAME SKID WHICH I AM SURE IS MAKING MANAGEMENT HAPPY RIGHT NOW. THEY ARE HEADING IN THE DIRECTION THEY WANT.
FINAL SCORE: PIRATES 2 BREWERS 3
WHY THE PIRATES LOST: THE BATS HAD ANOTHER QUIET DAY AS THE PIRATES COULD ONLY COLLECT SIX HITS AND ONLY ONE OF THEM WAS AN EXTRA BASE HIT. THE BREWERS DID NOT WALK A BATTER. STRATTON FAILED TO HOLD THE LEAD IN THE NINTH BUT THE WINNING HIT BY MCCUTCHEN COULD HAVE BEEN CAUGHT. QUINTANA HAD ANOTHER SOLID START STRIKING OUT NINE WITH NO WALKS AND GIVING UP ONLY ONE RUN IN FIVE INNINGS.
THE KEY PLAY: THE MCCUTCHEN HIT TO GIVE THE BREWERS THE LEAD WITH WITH ONE OUT IN THE NINTH. THE PIRATES WENT QUIETLY IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH
NEXT GAME: TONIGHT PADRES IN PITTSBURGH. INDEED IT LOOKS LIKE THE BREWERS HAVE THE PIRATES NUMBER THIS YEAR. THEY DID BOUNCE BACK FROM THE FIRST SWEEP IN MILWAUKEE. WE WILL SEE WHAT THEY CAN DO AGAINST THE PADRES. IT IS TIME TO MAKE BEDNAR THE CLOSER. STRATTON IS JUST TOO INCONSISTENT.
FINAL SCORE: PIRATES 1 BREWERS 3
WHY THE PIRATES LOST: IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF GAME, WHERE NEITHER TEAM COULD HIT, THE PIRATES TURNED IT INTO AN ART FORM, GETTING ONLY ONE HIT AND SCORING THEIR ONLY RUN ON A DOUBLE PLAY BALL. THE DEFENSE ALLOWED THE TYING RUN TO SCORE. SAM HOWARD SHOWED EVERYBODY HOW NOT TO PITCH. COMING ON IN THE TOP OF THE NINTH WITH ONE OUT, HE PROMPTLY HIT THE FIRST BATTER, GETS ONE OUT, THEN WALKS THE NEXT 3 BATTERS TO MAKE THE SCORE 3-1. WHY HE WAS ALLOWED TO WALK THAT MANY BATTERS IN A ROW IN A CLOSE GAME, ONLY THE SHELTON KNOWS. JOSH HADER PITCHED THE NINTH FOR THE BREWERS, WHILE OUR TOP TWO RELIEVERS SAT COMFORTABLY IN BULLPEN OF A ONE RUN GAME. ONE TEAM TRYING TO WIN GAMES AND ANOTHER TEAM NOT. I’LL LET YOU GUESS
KEY PLAY OF THE GAME: TOP OF THE SIXTH, THE PIRATES HAD FIRST AND THIRD WITH NOBODY OUT AND KE’BRYAN HAYES GROUNDED INTO A SPECTACULAR DOUBLE PLAY. EVEN THOUGH RUNS WERE HARD TO COME BY, THE BREWERS WERE WILLING TO GIVE UP THE RUN, BECAUSE THEY KNEW THE MOVES THAT SHELTON WAS GOING TO DO THE REST OF THE GAME.
NEXT GAME: TODAY, BREWERS IN PITTSBURGH. THIS LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THOSE YEARS THAT THE BREWERS COULD BE DOMINATING THE PIRATES. THEY HAVE HAPPENED BEFORE. LAST NIGHTS LINE UP LOOKED GOOD ON PAPER BUT DID NOT WORK OUT. TODAYS SHOULD BE INTERESTING.
FINAL SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0 CHICAGO 21
WHY THE PIRATES LOST: THEY SHOWED UP BUT TOOK THE DAY OFF. IN A GAME LIKE THIS, THERE IS NO KEY PLAY OF THE GAME. HOWEVER, LEAVE IT TO THE PIRATE ANNOUNCERS, MAINLY GREG BROWN, TO BRING THE GAME DOWN TO AN EVEN LOWER LEVEL. WHEN MIGUEL YAJURE, WHO IS OFF TO A BAD START THIS YEAR, WAS GETTING PUMMELLED FOR 7 RUNS IN 2 AND 1/3, GREG BROWN DECIDED TO MENTION THAT THE PIRATES LIKE ALL MAJOR LEAGUE TEAMS WERE GOING TO HAVE TO CUT THE ROSTER TO 26 PLAYERS. HE THEN SAID THAT THE PIRATES WOULD BE SENDING DOWN ONE OF THEIR PITCHERS. TALK ABOUT KICKING SOMEONE WHEN THEY ARE DOWN. MY THOUGHT AT THAT TIME WAS, TOO BAD THE PIRATES ARE NOT CUTTING DOWN ON ANNOUNCERS ON MAY 2ND, BECAUSE IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE GREG BROWN LEAVE THE BOOTH. THE BIGGEST SHILL THE PIRATES HAVE, JUST SAID I GUESS IT’S OBVIOUS WHO THEY SHOULD CUT, WITHOUT HAVING ENOUGH GUTS TO ACTUALLY SAY HIS NAME. WHAT A CHICKEN SHIT. THAT GOD FOR DVR SO I GET TO LISTEN TO THOSE GUYS AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
THE NEXT GAME: TODAY CUBS IN CHICAGO. MAYBE WE WILL GET 3 OF THE FOUR OUTFIELDERS IN THE STARTING LINE UP. BEING A SUNDAY GAME, LET’S HOPE THAT THE PIRATES DON’T DEEM THIS ANOTHER DAY OF REST. DESPITE THE HORRIFIC LOSS, THEY CAN WIN THE SERIES.