The Pittsburgh Pirates get swept at home in embarrassing fashion by the Cincinnati Reds

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FINAL: Cincinnati Reds 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 2

Takeaways

  • There wasn’t much positive in this game, but Ivan Nova did look good early on.  He continued to find the strike zone early and often with a strikeout and no walks through the first four frames.  He was punished in the fifth inning with several hard-hit balls and, with the help of a David Freese error, Cincinnati put their first 4 runs on the board.
  • Andrew McCutchen continued to get on base.  He had a few ugly games in the Atlanta series but seems to have silenced his critics for the time being with another multi-hit game.  Cutch is now slashing .250/.314/.281 for the season and seems to be tracking the ball to his bat much more effectively.
  • David Freese launched a 2-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to get the Pittsburgh Pirates on the board.  This was his second home run of the season and would provide the only offense of the night for the beleaguered Bucs.

Throwaways

  • Antonio Bastardo had a horrendous outing, coming in as relief for Nova in the 7th.  He struggled with his fastball control, walking back to back batters to load the bases with two outs.  Eduardo Suarez took advantage, smashing a bases-clearing double to the left field gap.  This is the second bad outing for Bastardo and he looked visibly rattled as he left the game.
  • Josh Bell had another lackluster day at the plate, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout.  This puts Bell’s slash line for the year at .160/.250/.240.  Say what you want about small sample sizes, but Bell just does not look good at the plate.  Maybe his knee is bothering him more than he is letting on?
  • Starling Marte had a rare off-day.  After a six game hitting streak, he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. This brings his strikeout total for the season to 10 and averages out to more than one strikeout per game.  Marte has had some huge hits this season, but he will need to keep his strikeouts to a more reasonable level if he wants to be considered as an all-star again this year.

Line Of the Day

The line of the game goes to the opposing pitcher, Amir Garrett.  The Pirates normally hit lefties well and Garrett pitched 6 and 2/3rds innings with a line of (6.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 0 BBs and 5 Ks).  Other than the Freese home run, Garrett shut down the Pirates offense.

W- Garrett (2-0, 1.42 ERA), L– Nova (1-1, 2.25 ERA)

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Up Next

The Pittsburgh Pirates will make a quick trip to Boston to make up the April 6 game that was rained out.  Chad Kuhl will make his second start of the season in that game.  They will then head to Chicago for a three game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  Hopefully the road trip will snap them out of their offensive funk.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley is a lifelong Pirates fan who now resides in Portland, OR. He is a former executive of several major companies and a published author. His current passion is balancing statistics and good old-fashioned “feel” to provide insight into the game of baseball. Sean is married to a great gal and the father of two amazing boys.