Pittsburgh Pirates series recap vs. Philadelphia Phillies


The Pittsburgh Pirates began their home stand with a series loss to the last place Milwaukee Brewers. The offense sputtered, only scoring three runs in three games. The team looked to rebound both offensively and in the win column against their cross-state rival, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Game One: Jeff Locke (3-3, 5.37 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game Result: Pirates win 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Antonio Bastardo (1-1, 4.60 ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Dustin McGowan (1-2, 5.40 ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Jeff Locke threw six scoreless innings and wiggled out of trouble all night.
    • The bullpen was absolutely outstanding. Going seven innings, allowing no runs on five hits.
    • Josh Harrison had a very stellar game, going 4-6.
    • Starling Marte collected three hits of his own, including the game-winner as the Pirates walked off for the first time in 2015.
  • What went wrong:
    • Kevin Correia had a very solid, yet unspectacular outing, going 5.2 innings, allowing no runs on five hits.
    • The Pirates’ offense was kept in check by the Phillies bullpen for over 12 innings.
    • Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco went a combined 0-13 on the night.
    • Pirates went 1-10 with runners in scoring position and left 17 men on base.

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Game Two: Gerrit Cole (9-2, 1.73 ERA) vs. Sean O’Sullivan (1-4, 4.96 ERA)

Game Result: Pirates win 4-3

Winning Pitcher: Gerrit Cole (10-2, 1.71 ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Sean O’Sullivan (1-5, 5.08 ERA)

Save: Mark Melancon (20, 2.05 ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Gerrit Cole did his usual ace things despite not having his best stuff on the mound. He went six innings, allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and striking out seven.
    • Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte were big at the top of the line-up, going a combined 5-8 with one RBI an two runs scored.
    • Andrew McCutchen had two RBIs of his own, going 1-3 with a walk on the day.
    • Tony Watson got into trouble and then pitched out of it, escaping a bases loaded, no-out jam to keep the Pirates ahead by one run.
  • What went wrong:
    • Ben Revere went 3-5 with two runs scored.
    • Freddy Galvis continued to be a thorn in the Pirates’ side, as he went 2-4 with an RBI.
    • Gregory Polanco was thrown out at home trying to score from second on a Starling Marte single.
    • Starling Marte over slid second on a stolen base attempt and was called out.

Game Three: A.J. Burnett (6-2, 2.11 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (5-3, 3.19 ERA)

Game Result: Pirates win 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Antonio Bastardo (2-1, 4.32 ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Jonathan Papelbon (1-1, 1.05 ERA)

  • What went right:
    • A.J. Burnett was absolutely outstanding again in one of this best outings as a Pirate, going nine innings, allowing np runs on five hits and striking out four.
    • Jared Hughes and Antonio Bastardo both pitched well out of the bullpen. Combined, they went two innings and allowed only one hit.
    • The Pirates’ defense was fantastic. Sean Rodriguez and Andrew McCutchen both made tremendous catches and robbed the Phillies of extra bases.
    • Jose Tabata had a great at-bat, battling Papelbon and eventually reaching on an error which allowed Neil Walker to advance to third base, setting up the game-winning single by Josh Harrison.
  • What went wrong:
    • Cole Hamels was dynamic on the mound, going seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits and striking out 12.
    • Pirates went 1-7 with RISP and couldn’t cash in their numerous opportunities.
    • Ben Revere and Jeff Francoeur went a combined four for 10 at the top of the order for the Phillies.
    • The Pirates struck out 17 times as a team.

If you told most people the Pirates would score six runs in a three-game series, they would assume the Pirates lost, but because of the team’s stellar pitching and defense, the Pirates not only won the series against the Phillies, but swept it. The offense didn’t do much during the three games, but it did enough. The series also provided the first two walk-off and extra inning wins for the Pirates in 2015. The Pittsburgh Pirates now say goodbye to the Phillies and welcome the Chicago White Sox for a four-game and two city inter-league series.

Series result: Pirates win 3-0

2015 overall record: 35-27

2015 series record: 9-8-3

Next: Polanco for Hamels?