Pittsburgh Pirates road trip report card for June 2-7

May 14, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Tony Watson (44) throws in the tenth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Tony Watson (44) throws in the tenth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 19, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Daniel Hudson (41) pitches during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Daniel Hudson (41) pitches during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /

Bullpen

Along with the offense, the Pirates bullpen did a great job of picking up Cole Friday night. Wade LeBlanc, Juan Nicasio, Daniel Hudson and Felipe Rivero kept New York off the board for the next four innings, ensuring that the Mets did not come back from Pittsburgh’s seven-run sixth.

Despite Saturday’s loss, it was another strong night for the Bucco relievers. Johnny Barbato of all people put together two scoreless innings, and LeBlanc followed with a zero of his own.

After a quiet day Sunday, the bullpen lost the game Tuesday. Tony Watson is in awful form. That observation was pretty obvious after Tuesday’s game. Unfortunately, just when we thought/hoped things couldn’t get worse, Wednesday happened.

All that needs to be said about Wednesday’s contest is that the Pirates had a 6-2 lead after eight innings, and lost the game. Just for the hell of it, I’ll talk more about Wednesday’s contest.

Johnny Barbato, Clint Hurdle, and Tony Watson all deserve the heat for this one. Hurdle was stupid for sticking with Barbato to start the ninth after he had allowed a run in the eight. Hurdle was more stupid to bring in Watson and not Felipe Rivero with runners on second and third and nobody out. Of course, Watson was stupid to blow the lead.

One of the low-key victims of Tuesday and Wednesday’s massacres is poor Wade LeBlanc, who was the losing pitcher is both games. With all due respect to LeBlanc, Rivero, and Nicasio, at the end of the day, the Pirates lost two games almost solely because of damage caused by the bullpen. That’s the bottom line.