The Pittsburgh Pirates Take Home Game-Two of Their Three-Game Series with the Washington Nationals with a 6-1 Victory.
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FINAL: Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Washington Nationals 1
W- Gerrit Cole (2-4, 2.84 ERA) L- Jacob Turner (2-2, 3.74 ERA)
- Cole gets run support-With a towering 398-foot blast, Josh Bell took advantage of runners on the corners to give starting pitcher Gerrit Cole a 3-run cushion in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bells homer plated Andrew McCutchen and David Freese to put the Pirates on the board and in the lead for the first time in the game.
- Getting to the Nats bullpen- It is no secret the bullpen, like Washington sports teams in game seven, is struggling so far this season with the third highest ERA in baseball prior to this series. Starting pitcher Jacob Turner got the ball in a spot-start after throwing in relief Sunday afternoon. Turner would last 5 1/3 innings giving up the monster Bell shot before being lifted for Blake Treinan. The Pirates offense wound up scoring three runs against the woeful Nats bullpen throughout the final two innings.
- Cervelli thwarting the run game- With the Pirates up two runs in the top of the seventh inning, Nationals centerfielder Brian Goodwin got an aggressive secondary lead from second base. Francisco Cervelli would have none of it and threw Goodwin out at second base on the pick-off attempt. The out would be the third and final out of the seventh inning allowing Cole to escape by giving up only a single run.
- An inspired McCutchen- Andrew McCutchen has had a year full of struggles thus far early in the season. The low-point (hopefully) coming Tuesday night with McCutchen being benched following a double-switch late in the game. Wednesday night, the Pirates and their fans got a glimpse of the MVP version they got pre-2016 as the center fielder went 2-for-4 at the plate scoring two runs and notching two RBIs. While on base, McCutchen stole two bases in consecutive innings as he stole third in the sixth and second in the seventh.
- Late game defensive replacements-With Gregory Polanco on the DL, the power options on the roster are few and far between as it stands today. Bell, a rookie, was pulled in favor of John Jaso and his defense at first base in the seventh inning against the Nationals Wednesday night. While Jaso vs. Bell defensively can be hotly debated, what cannot be is the power displays Bell has shown compared to the veteran utility player. That display was put on with Bell’s three-run homer in the sixth while Jaso is struggling to hit the Mendoza line.
Line Of The Day
Gerrit Cole has pitched much better than his 1-4 record so far this season as the Pirates ace has been unable to get significant run support in his outings. Wednesday night, Cole got run support to go along with his seven innings of one-run ball. Cole finished with two walks and three strikeouts on the evening.
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Pirates give Cole well deserved run support and take down the Nationals 6-1. Who are your players of the game?
— Pirates Breakdown (@pbcbreakdown) May 18, 2017
The Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Nationals in the final game of their three-game series Thursday afternoon at 12:35 PM. Tanner Roark (3-1, 3.88 ERA) toes the rubber for Washington as he faces off with Tyler Glasnow of the Pirates (1-3, 7.98 ERA). Glasnow will be looking to bounce back following his last start in which he failed to make it three innings and gave up seven earned runs in the process. Roark got a no-decision in his last outing for the Nationals against the Phillies lasting 4 2/3 innings giving up four earned and three walks.