Pittsburgh Pirates Drop Game 1 Of 3 Against The Washington Nationals
Despite making a late rally, the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Washington Nationals in game 1 of their 3 game series on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates 6 game homestand got started on the wrong foot. This was due to an 8-4 loss against the Washington Nationals. With the loss, the Pirates are now 16-23 this season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates made a valiant rally attempt in the 7th inning on Tuesday night but came up short. On Tuesday night the Pirates were victimized by some atom balls and strong Washington defense, adding to the frustration of the loss.
The Nationals quickly took a 1-0 lead on Tuesday night. Trea Turner doubled to start the game and then Jayson Werth hit a single to make it 1-0 Washington.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates would quickly tie the game. Josh Harrison hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1. This gives Harrison 6 home runs this season, after hitting just 8 combined in 2014 and 2015.
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The game would remain tied until the top of the 3rd inning. With 2 outs in that inning, Ryan Zimmerman hit a 2-run double to right field. This made it 3-1 Washington.
Wilmer Difo would hit a 2-run home run in the top of the 4th inning. This was Difo’s first home run of the season, and just the second of his Major League career.
Chad Kuhl started for the Pirates on Tuesday night and struggled all night long. He pitched into the 5th inning and allowed 6 runs on 10 hits, a walk, a home run, and 3 strikeouts. He now owns a 6.69 ERA and a 4.94 xFIP this season.
Daniel Hudson took over for Kuhl in the top of the 5th inning with a pair of runners on and no one out. Hudson would get a line out and then a double play to clean things up. Johnny Barbato then came in and pitched a pair of scoreless inning.
So far this season the Washington Nationals have had arguably the worst bullpen in baseball, and this was on display in the bottom of the 7th inning.
Stephen Strasburg started the inning but was lifted after allowing a double to Josh Bell and walking Francisco Cervelli. Nats’ manager Dusty Baker then went to Matt Albers who allowed a single to Jordy Mercer to load the bases with no one out.
Jose Osuna was then called upon to pinch-hit for the Pirates. He hit a ground ball that Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman would throw into left field. This allowed Josh Bell and Francisco Cervelli to score, while Jordy Mercer went to third with no one out.
Ex-Pirate Oliver Perez then took over on the mound for the Nats. He would face just Adam Frazier, who would collect a RBI single to cut the Nats’ lead to 6-4. Dusty Baker then turned to Blake Treinen who got Josh Harrison to hit into a 6-4-3 double play and struck out Andrew McCutchen to end the inning.
This was the game’s turning point. The Pirates had an excellent opportunity to score more runs, if not tie the game, in the 7th inning but Treinen put the fire out for the Nats.
Wade LeBlanc pitched the 8th and 9th innings for the Pirates. Despite issuing a leadoff walk in the top of the 8th inning, LeBlanc kept the Nats off the scoreboard. However, in the top of the 9th inning, the Nats would put the game on ice.
After a Jayson Werth single, Bryce Harper would hit a 2-run home run to right field off of LeBlanc. This made it 8-4 Washington.
Koda Glover took the ball for the Nationals in the bottom of the 9th inning. With 2 outs, Jose Osuna singled and Adam Frazier doubled. However, he would strikeout Josh Harrison to end the game.
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Game 2 of this 3 game series is scheduled or 7:05 PM on Wednesday night. Gerrit Cole will start for the Pirates, while the Nationals have not yet announced their starting pitcher for Wednesday night’s game.