Pittsburgh Pirates Lose Game 2 of Weekend Series
Saturday night was not a banner night for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Jameson Taillon made his first start since the 4th of July on Saturday night. In his return from food poisoning, the Pirate righty pitched a strong 4 innings before the wheels came off. As a result, the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 4-0.
With the loss, the Pirates are now 43-48 this season. That includes being 1-1 on this critical homestand and 3-5 against the Cardinals.
The poor top of the 5th inning may have appeared to sink the Pirates on Saturday night, however, the real issue was the offense. The Pirates had base runners and plenty of opportunities to score, but they went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring positon.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Pirates had a golden opportunity to score first. After a David Freese walk and a Francisco Cervelli single, the Bucs had runners on the corners with just 1 out. Unfortunately, Jordy Mercer would hit into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Cardinals would take a 1-0 lead in the top of 4th inning. After Matt Carpenter doubled to start the inning, Jedd Gyorko collected a 1-out RBI single to make 1-0. Gyorko, however, would get picked off first base by Gregory Polanco after a Yadier Molina fly out to end the inning.
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Andrew McCutchen reached on a Carpenter error to start the bottom of the 4th inning and Josh Bell followed with a single. At this point, the Bucs looked primed to at least tie the game.
However, David Freese hit into a 1-6-3 double play to quiet things down. Gregory Polanco then flew out to left field to end the inning.
Pirate mistakes would allow the Cardinal lead to grow, and caused the wheels to come off for Jameson Taillon, in the bottom of the 5th inning.
Jameson Taillon appeared to be on his way to posting a zero. The Cardinals had Luke Voit, who reached due to a poor play by David Freese, on first base but with 2 outs and pitcher Lance Lynn at the plate. This is where the mistakes began.
First off, Taillon committed the inexcusable mistake of allowing the opposing pitcher to record a hit. Secondly, Andrew McCutchen failed to field the ball Lynn hit cleanly allowing him to advance to second and Voit to score.
With the Cardinals now ahead 2-0, Matt Carpenter stepped to the plate. Carpenter hit a RBI single scoring Lynn, and Tommy Pham then hit a RBI double scoring Carpenter. This made it 4-0 Cardinals.
Jameson Taillon lasted just 5 innings on Saturday night. He allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, no walks, and he recorded 5 strikeouts.
The Pirates had a chance to get some of the runs back in the bottom of the 5th inning. With 2 outs pinch hitter Philip Gosselin collected a rare base hit, and Adam Frazier followed with a single of his own.
This brought Josh Harrison to the plate with runners on the corners and 2 outs. However, Harrison, who has been awful in July, continued his recent struggles by flying out to right field to end the inning.
Jhan Marinez took over for the Pirates in the 6th inning. After pitching a scoreless top of the 6th inning, he also pitched the top of the 7th inning. In total, Marinez pitched a pair of scoreless innings while walking 2 batters and striking out 2.
The Pittsburgh Pirates would chase Cardinal starter Lance Lynn from the game in the bottom of the 7th inning. With 1 out, Francisco Cervelli doubled and Jordy Mercer singled. This gave the Bucs runners on the corner with 1 out and spelled the end of Lynn’s night.
Cardinal manager Mike Matheny would call upon sinker ball specialist Matt Bowman to try and clean things up. After getting pinch hitter John Jaso to fly out to shallow left field for the second out of the inning, Bowman walked Adam Frazier to load the bases. Josh Harrison’s miserable July would continue though as he popped out to end the inning.
Lance Lynn had struggled this season entering Saturday’s game with a 5.19 FIP. Furthermore, the Pirates have always hit Lynn well. On Saturday night, though, Lynn was in control. In one of his best starts of the season Lynn kept the Bucs off the board in 6 1/3 innings of work. He allowed 8 hits, he did not walk a batter, and he struck out 3.
A.J. Schugel pitched the 8th and 9th innings for the Pirates. Schugel retired all 6 batters he faced and recorded a pair of strikeouts. Once again, he showed that he should have made the team to out of Spring Training to start the season.
Gregory Polanco doubled off Tyler Lyons to start the bottom of the 9th inning. However, Lyons retired the next 3 batters to end the game and closing out the Cardinal shutout of the Pirates on Saturday night.
Next: Marte Hitting Well During Rehab Stint
The third game of the series will take place at PNC Park at 1:35 PM on Sunday afternoon. Trevor Williams will start for the Pirates, while the Cardinals go with Carlos Martinez. Hopefully, the Bucs will be able to pick up a series victory.