Pittsburgh Pirates Get Swept By San Francisco Giants

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 02: Trevor Williams
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 02: Trevor Williams /

The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 37-45 this season

This weekend was a disaster for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs entered the weekend with a record of 37-42, 4 games out of first place in the National League Central, and they were preparing to play the San Francisco Giants who entered the weekend with the second worst record in the National League.

Well, the weekend has come to an end and the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 37-45. This ties their season high watermark of 8 games under .500. There is no way around it, this weekend series was a horrible one for the Pirates.

They should have won on Saturday but failed to get the big hit with runners in scoring position. Then on Sunday they fielded a lineup that included just 3 hitters with a wRC+ over 100 on Sunday, still led in the 7th inning, and then experienced a bullpen meltdown courtesy of Tony Watson.

With the loss, the Pirates capped off their 6 game homestand a disappointing 2-4. What made it so disappointing is that the Bucs took 2 of 3 from a very good Tampa Bay Rays team and seemed primed for a 4-2 or even 5-1 homestand. Instead, the Bucs were swept by one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball to finish the homestand just 2-4.

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Trevor William started for the Pirates on Sunday, while longtime Pirate nemesis Jeff Samardzija was on the hill for the Giants. Early on, both pitchers were cruising.

The game’s first threat came in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Jose Osuna hit a 2 out triple. This gives Osuna a team leading 3 triples this season. John Jaso then hammered a ball into the right-center field gap. Giant right fielder Hunter Pence made an excellent diving catch to rob Jaso of extra bases, a RBI, and the Pirates off the lead to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Pirates would break the scoreless tie.

With 1 out, Gregory Polanco ripped a double down the right field line. Jordy Mercer then crushed his 8th home run of the season to left field to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Samardzija would then retire Max Moroff and Chris Stewart to end the 4th inning.

On Sunday afternoon, Trevor Williams was in complete control. Through his first 4 2/3 innings pitched the lone base runner he allowed was a bunt single by Brandon Belt in the 2nd inning. He did not allow a base hit on a ball that left the infield until a 2 out single by Jae-Gyun Hwang with 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning.

In the top of the 7th inning, Trevor Williams ran into trouble for the first time. To start the inning he issued his lone walk of the afternoon to Hunter Pence. Then, Buster Posey hit a double to men on second and third with no one out ending Williams’ day on the mound.

With a pair of left-handed hitters due up, Clint Hurdle went to Tony Watson to relief Williams. Watson would allow a RBI single to Brandon Belt that cut the Pirate lead to 2-1. He then suffered the same fate against Brandon Crawford, who had yet to record a hit in this series, to tie the game at 2.

A Jae-Gyun Hwang infield hit would then load the bases with no outs. After getting Austin Slater to foul out to first base for the first out of the inning, he gave up a go ahead sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Kelby Tomlinson. This made it 3-2 Giants heading into the 7th inning stretch.

In 6+ innings of work on Sunday afternoon Trevor Williams allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, 1 walk, and he struck out 3 hitters. Both of the runs Williams allowed were inherited runners that Tony Watson would fail to strand.

The Giants would add to their lead in the top of the 8th inning. Edgar Santana allowed a leadoff double to Joe Panik, struck out the next 2 batters he faced, and then allowed a 2 run home run to Brandon Belt. This made the score 5-2 Giants.

With 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th inning, the Pirates would cut into the Giant lead. John Jaso would launch his 7th home run of the season over the Clemente Wall. The solo home run cut the San Francisco lead to 5-3.

Sam Dyson pitched the bottom of the 9th for the Giants. Dyson would retire the Pirates in order capping off a weekend sweep for the Giants, and ending what was a miserable weekend for the Pirates.

Next: Starling Marte Begins Rehab Stint

Tomorrow the Pittsburgh Pirates begin a 4 game series with the National League’s worst team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Hopefully, things go better than they did this past weekend against the NL’s second worst team. Game 1 from Citizens Bank Park is scheduled 7:05 PM.  Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates, while the Phillies plan to send Aaron Nola to the mound.