Despite 9th inning heroics by Andrew McCutchen, the Pittsburgh Pirates drop the first of three to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 in extra innings tonight.

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FINAL: Tampa Bay Rays 4 , Pittsburgh Pirates 2   

Takeaways

  • Productive pitching early on made the beginning of the game fly by. They were through four innings in just over an hour. Trevor Williams kept his pitch counts way down save the fourth inning, when the run scored, and Rays pitcher Alex Cobb was even more efficient on the bump.
  • No one wants to get no-hit, and thanks to Josh Harrison, that shame didn’t befall the Pirates tonight. Prior to his single in the 7th, Harrison was the only Bucco to touch base, on a walk in the 4th. His hit opened up the floodgates at least a little trickle, with Andrew McCutchen, batting again in the 3rd spot in the order, getting a single to move JHay into scoring position. No runners scored (see Throwaways bullet point #3).
  • I guess getting moved up to the 3-spot didn’t have the detrimental impact on Andrew McCutchen many fans thought it would given his clutch RBI single in the 9th  that brought both John Jaso and Harrison home. He also singled earlier in the 7th.

Throwaways

  • Foiled by the ground ball and fuzzy defense. The Rays netted their first run of the night on the third ground ball, hit by Steven Souza Jr., given up that inning by Trevor Williams. The Rays weren’t hitting him hard, just hitting them where the fielders weren’t or weren’t able to get to. The tie-breaking run, hit by Souza Jr. in the 10th, was also the result of fuzzy defense by David Freese and Adam Frazier.
  • Effective pitching by the Rays – Cobb was on his game and stymied the Bucs through six innings, and did so in 71 pitches.
  • After breaking up the no-hitter in the 7th, the Pirates had two runners on base, nobody out and couldn’t convert it to a run. They have to capitalize on these opportunities more.

Line Of the Night

Without a doubt Trevor Williams deserves these honors tonight. He was effective, productive and sharp in the best start of his MLB career. After getting knocked out early in the 8th on – in what foiled him the few times he was tonight – a ground ball. In 7 innings, he gave up six hits, had 7 strikeouts and gave up 2 runs in 84 pitches. His ERA, which is still being impacted by his poor outing in LA, stands at 4.82. And he saved the bullpen a heavy workload, to boot!

W – Alex Colome (2-3, 3.57 ERA)  Felipe Rivero (3-2, 0.88 ERA)

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The Pirates’ Ivan Nova (7-5, 3.06 ERA) takes the mound for the Bucs, Blake Snell (0-4, 4.71 ERA) for the Rays. Gametime is 7:05 at PNC Park.

Joy Frank-Collins

Joy Frank-Collins is a Communications professional who got her start writing as a journalist at a daily newspaper in southeastern Ohio. She was born in Reds country, but “found” baseball watching the 1986 Mets win the World Series. She lives in Marietta, Ohio, with her family, who all share her passion for Pirates baseball. She loves the suicide squeeze, a crisp 6-4-3 double play and catchers (especially Russell Martin). When not obsessing over baseball, Joy likes to work out, travel and drink wine. Check her out on Instagram @JoyFC