The Pittsburgh Pirates lost a makeup game against the Colorado Rockies 11-5 on Thursday afternoon. It was an ugly game, but here is some analysis.
Thursday afternoon went bad for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Actually, it went really, really bad. The Pirates had to play a one game makeup in Denver against the Colorado Rockies and they were crushed 11-5 by the Rockies.
After this loss, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 32-28 overall on the year which is still good for the second National League Wild Card spot. Jeff Locke had nothing for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon, and this was brutally obvious beginning with the first inning.
Third baseman David Freese – David Freese continued his strong offensive season on Thursday afternoon. Freese got the start at third base for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and went 1-for-4 with a home run and a walk in the game. As usual, David Freese also played a strong defensive game at third base.
In the top of the third inning with the Pirates trailing 6-1, David Freese hit a three-run home run to cut the Rockies’ lead to 6-4. This gave Freese five home runs on the season. After his game on Thursday afternoon, David Freese now has a .359 wOBA and a 129 wRC+ on the season.
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Relief pitcher Kyle Lobstein – The Pittsburgh Pirates recalled left-handed relief pitcher Kyle Lobstein from Triple-A Indianapolis today to help a shortened bullpen. Lobstein was able to do exactly what he was called up to do, he gave the Pirates length and helped out the bullpen. On Thursday afternoon, Kyle Lobstein was able to give the Pittsburgh Pirates 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Kyle Lobstein took over for Jeff Locke in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs, Charlie Blackmon on first base, and the Pittsburgh Pirates trailing 11-5. Lobstein was able to finish off the fifth inning, and then threw a scoreless sixth and seventh inning. Lobstein pitched 2 1/3 hitless, scoreless innings of relief for the Pirates on Thursday.
Second baseman Josh Harrison – Even though Josh Harrison left the game early as part of a double switch, the Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman had a strong game before doing so. Harrison went 2-for-3 with a run scored on Thursday afternoon, raising his batting average on the season to .327.
That .327 batting average that Josh Harrison owns is good for third best in the National League. The 2016 season is just Harrison’s second Major League season in which he has been a full-time starter. And much like his first such season in 2014, when he indeed was a National League All-Star, Josh Harrison is making a strong bid for a roster spot in the Mid-Summer Classic once again.
Starting pitcher Jeff Locke – The Pittsburgh Pirates needed Jeff Locke to give them length on Thursday afternoon, he did his best to give them that, but things did not go well. Jeff Locke saw his stretch of five consecutive strong starts come to a crashing end on Thursday afternoon. This game would wind up proving to be the worst start of Jeff Locke’s Major League career.
Jeff Locke lasted just 4 2/3 innings, and he allowed 11 earned runs on 11 base hits. Locke also allowed a home run, walked three batters, and struck out just two batters. This was the first start in which Jeff Locke had issued a walk since May 25th, and his first start with three or more walks since April 20th.
Even though people will absolutely crush Jeff Locke after today’s outing, he has still had a decent season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His season has definitely been better than his 5.38 ERA, 5.24 FIP, or 5.17 xFIP indicate. Jeff Locke has now made 12 starts on the season, and he has allowed three earned runs or less in eight of them while averaging six innings pitched per start. Any team would take that out of their number five starter.
Jeff Locke is the lone stiff for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon (yay?). The offense, even though it went cold in the later innings, still cranked out five runs and the bullpen threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
That will do it for this afternoon. There’s no denying that Thursday afternoon’s loss in Denver was an ugly one, but this was a game that never should have been played. It was ridiculous to make the Pirates fly all the way to Denver for one day in the middle of a nine game homestand.
Adding to the ridiculousness is that both teams are off on August 18th, and the Pittsburgh Pirates will be finishing a West Coast trip on August 17th. Absolutely horrible scheduling by Major League Baseball. Oh well, the St. Louis Cardinals and their abysmal rotation come to town this weekend and the Pittsburgh Pirates are 5-1 against the Cardinals so far this season.