Atlanta Braves 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 1: Stars And Stiffs
The Pittsburgh Pirates saw their three game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday night via a 3-1 lose to the Atlanta Braves.
On Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Atlanta Braves by a score of 3-1, to fall to 21-18 on the season. Atlanta starter Julio Teheran was fantastic in this game, shutting the Pirates out over 7 2/3 innings pitched.
Here are the three Pittsburgh Pirates stars and stiffs from their 3-1 loss to the Braves.
Starting pitcher Francisco Liriano – Left-handed starter Francisco Liriano needed a big bounce back start after a terrible outing against the Chicago Cubs last Friday, and he got just that. Liriano allowed just two runs on seven hits, two walks, and four strike outs in seven innings pitched. With this performance, Liriano saw his ERA drop from 4.99 to 4.63 on the season.
Liriano was also victimized by some bad luck on Wednesday, especially when he allowed his first run in the third inning. Brave second baseman Daniel Castro hit a ball off of Liriano’s foot to start the inning, Liriano was unable to locate the ball, and it wound up an infield it. Castro would then score on a two-out single by Freddie Freeman.
The other run Liriano allowed came on a Tyler Flowers solo home run. Home runs continue to be a problem for Liriano as he is now allowing 1.74 HR/9 this season. However, four of Liriano’s last five starts have been strong and it appears he has his season trending in the right direction.
Relief pitcher Jared Hughes – Jared Hughes replaced Francisco Liriano in the top of the eighth inning, and tossed a scoreless inning for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hughes faced three batters, allowed a single, and recorded three ground ball outs.
When Jared Hughes is at his best he is recording ground ball outs, so it was great to see him record three ground ball outs on Wednesday night. After some initial struggles after coming off the disabled list earlier this month, Jared Hughes is starting to settle in as the reliable reliever Pirate fans have come to know.
In his last five appearances Jared Hughes has pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings. In those 4 1/3 innings pitched Hughes has allowed four hits and has struck out three batters.
Third baseman Jung Ho Kang – Is it great to hand Jung Ho Kang back or what? On Wednesday night Kang went 1-for-3, he was hit by a pitch, and he hit a solo home run. In just 37 plate appearances since coming off the disabled list, Kang already has five home runs.
Jung Ho Kang know owns an impressive .281/.351/.813/1.164 slash line since coming off the disabled list. Kang also played a strong third base tonight, highlights by a very good play to record the second out of the top of the eighth inning in this game.
First baseman John Jaso – One day after going 3-for-3, John Jaso had an uncharacteristically poor game on Wednesday night. Jaso went 0-for-4 at the plate, and this included hitting into a double play after Francisco Liriano had singled to lead off the third inning.
Jaso also made a defensive miscue on Wednesday night. Francisco Liriano had Atlanta third baseman Chase d’Arnaud picked off at first base, but Jaso’s throw went wide of second base allowing d’Arnaud to be safe. Luckily, d’Arnaud did not come around to score following Jaso’s throwing miscue.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen – On Wednesday night Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 at the plate, but that is not the reason he is on this list. Well, not totally that is. McCutchen has worked his way onto the stiffs list due to his at bat in the eighth inning.
Cutch stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth with the Pirate trailing 2-0, runners on the corners, and two outs. However, Cutch flew out to center field to end the inning. Just a simple base hit to bring home a run to cut the Atlanta lead to 2-1 would have been great but that did not happen.
Relief pitcher Arquimedes Caminero – Seemingly every time Arquimedes Caminero pitches he ends up on the stiffs list, and tonight was no different. Caminero entered the game in the top of the ninth inning with the Pirates trailing 2-0, and things did not go well.
Caminero allowed a run on two hits and a walk in his inning of work on Wednesday night. On the season, Caminero has now allowed 21 hits in 15 2/3 innings pitched. Furthermore, Caminero is averaging 6.89 BB/9 and he has an ERA of 5.74, FIP of 6.43, and a xFIP of 5.65. Arquimedes Caminero’s days on the Major League roster have to be numbered.
Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirates will not be able to sweep their four game series with the Atlanta Braves. However, with a win on Thursday night they can still take three out of four games in this series. Hopefully Jeff Locke can be the Jeff Locke we saw in his three starts prior to his blow up at Wrigley Field this past Saturday.