The Pirates are playing some pretty bad baseball right now. Not bad like the Braves and Twins have been (Effectively Wild had a great podcast today about the early season foibles of each of those franchises), but bad in a frustrating way. In nearly all of these games this past week, it seems like the Pirates really gave themselves a chance to win, but either the bullpen got burned or the offense couldn’t score or the starters just couldn’t stretch themselves out far enough. Or a combination of the three. Regardless, watching the Pirates lately hasn’t been much fun.
Today’s edition of the Pirates blowing it wasted a serviceable Jeff Locke start. I say serviceable because Locke looked pretty bad and gave up a lot of walks (seven! in less that five full innings!) and a lot of base runners in general. He worked out of trouble a lot, though, and scraped by, only yielding three runs despite the traffic on the basepaths. This seems like it should be enough for the bullpen to work with, but Kyle Lobstein and Neftali Feliz made sure that Ryan Braun was earning his paycheck today, each delivering up a two run homer to Braun. Mixed in there was a brief reprieve of a four run inning for the Buccos, including a pinch-hit Matt Joyce three run home run, but even that wasn’t enough to overcome the wall the Pirates built around themselves.
The lone bright spot outside the Joyce homer was Starling Marte, who continued his strong start at the plate with three hits to go with an absolutely dazzling catch:
Watch it again, in slow-mo:
Beautiful. The dude is on his way to an MVP-type season.
The bullpen effectively eliminated any chance of a comeback in this one, which has been a theme recently. Hopefully something happens to turn this ship around and get the Pirates back on a winning track. It isn’t time to panic yet, but watching this squad find ways to lose each game this week has been pretty frustrating. Series with the Crew continues tomorrow after the Pens game. Let’s hope something good happens.