Pittsburgh Pirates 4th of July weekend series takeaways vs. Cleveland Indians


Sweeping an opponent is the best way to come home from any road trip, even a three game one. The Pittsburgh Pirates played perhaps their best offensive series of the season against the Tigers. They then came home to start their last home stand before the All Star Break. They began by playing another American League Central team, the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland has struggled for most of the season, but entered the series by sweeping four straight from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Game One: Charlie Morton (6-1, 4.28ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (6-5, 3.96ERA)

Result: Pirates lose 5-2

Winning Pitcher: Trevor Bauer (7-5, 3.88ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Charlie Morton (6-2, 4.30ERA)

Save: Cody Allen (16, 3.34ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Charlie Morton had a very solid outing. Going six innings, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out three.
    • Andrew McCutchen did his usual All Star type stuff. Going 1-2 with a home run, two RBI and walk and a run scored.
    • Neil Walker went 1-4 with a run scored.
    • Jared Hughes was very solid out of the bullpen. Going 1.2 innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits.
  • What went wrong:
    • Offense was kept mostly in check by Trevor Bauer. He went 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits.
    • There was an over two hour rain delay late in the game.
    • Arquimedes Caminero was very bad. Lasting only a third of an inning, allowing two runs on three hits.
    • Indians bullpen completely shut down the Pirates and never let them get back into the ballgame. They threw 2.2 shutout innings to finish off the ballgame.

Game Two: Jeff Locke (4-4, 4.55ERA) vs. Cody Anderson (1-0, 0.57ERA)

Result: Pirates win 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Jeff Locke (5-4, 4.15ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Cody Anderson (1-1, 0.76ERA)

Save: Mark Melancon (26, 1.62ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Jeff Locke was absolutely fantastic. He had easily his best start of 2015. Going eight innings, allowing zero runs on two hits and striking out six.
    • Josh Harrison was a table setter in the lead-off spot. Going 2-4 with a run scored.
    • Neil Walker drove in the eventual winning run in the sixth inning. He went 1-4 on the day.
    • Mark Melancon closed the game and sealed the win. Earning his 26th save of the season.
  • What went wrong:
    • Cody Anderson matched Jeff Locke zero for zero until the sixth inning. He was a very hard luck loser. Going eight innings, allowing one run on six hits.
    • Gregory Polanco really is in a funk. He went 0-3, bringing his average down to .233.
    • Starling Marte was thrown out trying so steal second base.

Game Three: Gerrit Cole (11-3, 2.20ERA) vs. Jeff Salazar (7-3, 3.80ERA)

Result: Pirates win 5-3

Winning Pitcher: Gerrit Cole (12-3, 2.28ERA)

Losing Pitcher: Jeff Salazar (7-4, 4.10ERA)

Save: Mark Melancon (27, 1.58ERA)

  • What went right:
    • Gerrit Cole did his ace staff. Battled through a difficult second and third inning to cometely shut down the Indians. Going eight innings, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out five.
    • CutchHappens. Andrew McCutchen hit the go-ahead double in a five-run fifth inning. He went 2-3 with two RBI and a walk.
    • Pedro Alvarez hit his first non-solo home run of the season. Kickstarting the fifth inning with a two-run home run. He went 1-3 with two RBI and and a run scored.
    • Mark Melancon took over the NL lead in saves by closing off the ballgame and sealing the series win for the Pirates.
  • What went wrong:
    • Starling Marte had to leave the game early because of discomfort in his left side.
    • Chris Stewart was picked off of second base.
    • Michael Bourne and Roberto Perez both had two-out RBI.
    • Outside of the fifth inning, the Pirates bats were kept pretty quiet.

Pittsburgh and Cleveland aren’t best friends in anything. So a Pittsburgh sports team beating a Cleveland sports team is always satisfying. The Indians might not be a rival by any means, but taking two out of three games against them is very satisfying. The Pirates did not play very well in the first game of the series, but managed to bounce back and win the final two games to take the series. It was a a fun 4th of July weekend at PNC Park as all three games were sold out and the crowds were rocking and rolling. The Pirates are now a season high 13 games over .500 and look to continue to their streak of solid baseball as the always pesky San Diego Padres come to PNC Park for a three games series.

Series result: Pirates win 2-1

2015 win/loss record: 47-34

2015 series record: 13-10-3

Next: Breaking down the Pittsburgh Pirates' starting pitching depth