The Arizona Diamondbacks can score some runs. The team is piling up numbers that put them at the top of the league, and it continued last night at PNC Park.
Sure, Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jeff Karstens had to get that bunt down with the Bucs in business and nobody out, but there were so many examples of missed opportunities that it’s hard to just point at one. The Pirates left a small village on the basepaths, as manager Clint Hurdle likes to say. Fifteen runners were left stranded, to be exact.
The big picture was the failure on this night for the Bucs to gain ground in the NL Central, and finding out it will take some big offense to win this series against a talented Diamondbacks team.
Don’t for a second think the Snakes can’t cruise out of Pittsburgh with three wins in this series. Kirk Gibson has his guys crushing baseballs right now.
Once again, the Bucs sucked when runners were in scoring position, and numerous examples like Karstens failure proved key in the Pirates 10-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Snakes bit first, breaking a Karstens streak of nearly twenty-one scoreless innings at PNC Park. Paul Goldschmidt drove in trade target Stephen Drew with a two out knock, who had ripped a single to start off the game.
The Bucs were given a gift when – thanks to Jason Kubel – the forgotten-about Gerardo Parra dropped a fly ball off the bat of Andrew McCutchen, which allowed rookie Starling Marte to score from third base.
The Zombie avoided trouble in the second inning, stranding Miguel Montero after a leadoff double. Drew hit a bomb to put the Snakes up 2-1.
But the Bucs came back when Moonraker Travis Snider hit a double, and scored on Andrew McCutchen’s clutch two-out knock.
But Karstens couldn’t keep Drew off the basepaths; a two out knock gave the Diamondbacks a one run lead.
After Karstens failed to move the runners, Gaby Sanchez grounded out to short to leave the bases drunk with Pirates. The Bucs shot themselves in the foot again in the sixth when, with two on and one down, Clint Barmes skied to center, and oh-what-the-hell-let-him-pinch-hit Josh Harrison popped out to right field to end the threat.
Starling Marte crushed a full count pitch into Kip Wells shrubbery land in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game.
Moonraker followed with a single, and then Cutch ripped a double past the DBacks thirdbaseman, setting the Bucs up with runners in scoring position and nobody out. Clint Hurdle went to Garrett Jones to pinch hit and he was walked to load up the bags.
Neil Walker hit a rather shallow sacrifice fly, as Cutch watched from second, Snider scored giving the Bucs a one run lead and setting up what has been equivalent to a shovel on the neck of the Snakes with the Bucs bullpen.
Jason Grilli entered the game for his typical lock-down eighth inning. It didn’t happen. The DBacks slithered back into the game in a big way. An RBI single by Montero and a three-run jack by Chris Johnson gave the Snakes a three-run lead.
Johnson hit another bomb, this one a 439 foot blast, in the ninth off a Jared Hughes meatball to set the final score.
The suddenly iron clad Pirates bullpen has had their armor dented. It will be interesting to see how they respond tomorrow with Kevin Correia on the mound.