The Pittsburgh Pirates lost the opener of their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and their fifth game in a row.  Zack Greinke dominated the struggling Pirates lineup, taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning.

 

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FINAL:  Arizona Diamondbacks 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 1

Takeaways

  • Gregory Polanco broke up Zack Greinke’s no hitter in the 8th inning with his first home run of the season.  What incredible timing for Polanco to break out of a homer-less funk that spans his last 167 plate appearances dating back to last season.
  • Gerrit Cole struggled early but settled down to have a pretty good night.   He pitched 7 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk, lowering his season ERA to 3.06.
  • Jordy Mercer worked a walk to start off the third inning, but was thrown out attempting to steal second.  A walk would not normally get you in the “Takeaways” section but Mercer was the only Pirate to reach base against Greinke until Polanco’s home run in the 8th.

Throwaways

  • Just when you thought the Pirates offense couldn’t get any worse…  Collectively, they had 12 strikeouts on the night for a total of 44 over the first four games of this West Coast road trip.
  • Francisco Cervelli struck out in all three of his plate appearances on this night.  This speaks to the outstanding stuff that Greinke had as Cervelli is one of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ better contact hitters.
  • John Jaso, Jose Osuna and Gift Ngoepe all struck out twice against Greinke.  Ngoepe’s hot start at the plate seems like eons ago as he has regressed to strikeout in 44% of his plate appearances on the season.

Line Of the Night

Zack Greinke: 8 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 11 Ks, 1 BB.  Greinke is not technically a Pirate, but wouldn’t that be great if he was…

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 Up Next

In game two of the series, the Pittsburgh Pirates send Tyler Glasnow to the mound.  After a disastrous first outing where he walked five batters in less than two innings, Glasnow has slowly but surely worked deeper into games and lowered his walk rate.   Glasnow pitched at least six full innings in each of his last two starts.  Patrick Corbin will be on the bump for the Diamondbacks.  Corbin is a 6’2″ southpaw who has seen opponents bat .270 against him with a slugging percentage of .440.   He has especially struggled with right-handed hitters.  All five of the home runs he has surrendered this season have gone to right handed batters and they are collectively slashing .301/.353/.488 against him.  Given the Pirates’ recent struggles against lefties, we might see Gregory Polanco sit against Corbin in favor of Jose Osuna or Chris Bostick.

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.