Pittsburgh Pirates starter Charlie Morton played mindfreak with us in the first inning. After 22 pitches Morton was headed to the dugout after holding the Washington Nationals scoreless. We were left shaking our head. The right hander looked tentative in the first inning. It appeared he was opening up his left shoulder a bit early. We were wrong.
It turned out to be nothing. Much like the result of the game.
The Bucs fell 2-1 to the Nationals when professional fastball killer Matt Stairs ripped a pinch-hit line drive off the wall in right for a Nats walk-off. Who was pitching you ask? Who blew it?
The answer was Tim Wood.
“Resop and Veras have now been in 40 games. They can’t pitch every night. I thought he could get them out.” Clint Hurdle
Hurdle was wrong. Another strong starting pitching and four relievers efforts were wasted mainly due to the Pirates hitters making Tom Gorzelanny look like a Cy Young candidate. But also due to Hurdle’s decision to use Tim Wood in the highest leverage situation.
It wasn’t like Wood didn’t give warning signs that he didn’t have his best stuff especially when he sent a fastball to the backstop.
The Bucs only run last night came in the third inning after an infield single and two rare Nats errors. It was a gift.
It looked like the Pirates were going to push another run across the plate in the sixth and seventh as the team had a runner in scoring position in each inning, but FOUR strikeouts took care of those opportunities.
Tony Watson and Daniel McCutchen each had a strikeout. Watson and The Great White Cutch were each able to overcome a walk to lower their ERA to 2.61 and 2.20.