Pittsburgh Pirates Series takeaways vs. Washington Nationals


The Pittsburgh Pirates are on arguably the greatest pitching run in franchise history. Starters are going deep into ballgames and relievers are closing out wins. In their last seven wins against the Phillies and White Sox, the Pirates have allowed seven runs. The Pirates looked to continue their run of fantastic pitching against the second place Washington Nationals.

Game One: A.J. Burnett (6-2, 1.89ERA) vs. Joe Ross (1-1, 3.46ERA)

Result: Pirates lose 4-1

Winning Pitcher: Joe Ross (2-1, 2.66ERA)

Losing Pitcher: A.J. Burnett (6-3, 2.05ERA)

Save: Drew Storen (20, 2.08ERA0

  • What went right:
    • Gregory Polanco went 2-3 with an RBI.
    • A.J. Burnett did not have his best stuff, but battled and managed to keep the game within reach. He went 6.2 innings, allowed four runs on 14 hits. He managed to save the bullpen and worked in and out of trouble.
    • Jung-ho Kang went 1-4 with a run scored.
    • Pirates defense fielded two double plays that helped keep the game under control.
  • What went wrong:
    • A.J. Burnett allowed 14 hits and never seemed to settle down. Had to work from the stretch for most of the ballgame.
    • Denard Span went 2-5 with a run scored at the top of the line-up.
    • Wilson Ramos had a big game. Going 2-4 with two RBI.
    • Joe Ross kept the Pirates off balance all night. Going 7.1 innings, allowing one run on six hits and striking out 11.

Game Two: Francisco Liriano (4-5, 2.94ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (7-5, 1.93ERA)

Result: Pirates lose 6-0

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (8-5, 1.76ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Francisco Liriano (4-6, 3.26ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Francisco Liriano was mostly solid until the 6th inning. He went 5.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and striking out six.
    • Vance Worley got some work in for the first time in weeks. Finished up the ball game. He went two innings, allowing one run on one hit and striking out two.
    • Jose Tabata prevented the Pirates from having a perfect game thrown against them by getting hit by a pitch with one out in the 9th inning.
  • What went wrong:
    • Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter. He completely dominated the Pirates. Striking out 10 Pirates and coming within one hit by pitch of a perfect game.
    • Bryce Harper continued his ridiculous season. Going 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
    • Tyler Moore went 1-2 for two RBI.
    • Nationals made several terrific defensive plays to preserve the no-hitter.

Game Three: Charlie Morton (5-0, 1.62ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (4-4, 4.82ERA)

Result: Pirates lose 9-2

Winning Pitcher: Gio Gonzalez (5-4, 4.41ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Charlie Morton (5-1, 3.97ERA)

  • What went wrong:
    • Charlie Morton had easily his worth outing of the season. He went 0.2 innings, allowed nine runs on eight hits.
    • Bryce Harper just continued to amaze. He went 2-4 with a home run and two RBI.
    • Yunel Escobar had a big game. Going 2-5 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
    • Gio Gonzalez followed up Max Scherzer’s no-hitter with a very solid outing of his own. Going seven innings allowing zero runs on four hits, while striking out four.

To quote C. Montgomery Burns, “Well…that hurt like hell.” The Pirates came into Washington riding an eight game winning streak. They leave on a three game losing streak. Getting swept and only scoring three runs in the process leaves a bad taste in all of our mouths. This was probably the Pirates worst played series in a long, long time. The starters didn’t pitch particularly well and the offense didn’t do much of anything. The team will look to rebound against a struggling Cincinnati Reds ball club following a much needed day off.

Series result: Pirates lose 0-3

2015 win/loss record: 39-30

2015 series record: 10-9-3

Next: Dishin It: Bucs should stand pat at deadline