Another home stand is in the books. This week, the Pittsburgh Pirates hosted the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres and Detroit Tigers for eight games at PNC Park. Starting the stretch a disappointing 2-3, Pittsburgh rebounded to take its final three games to finish the home stand with a 5-3 record.
The stretch got off to a pathetic, yet all too familiar start. The Pirates were curb stomped by the Reds last Tuesday night in an 8-1 laugher that included a three-run homer by Billy Hamilton.
Wednesday night brought more disappointment. Although the contest was somewhat exciting until the ninth inning, the result was the same, as the Bucs fell, 5-2.
The series finale gave us a glimpse of what Pittsburgh should have been doing to the stinky Reds all year long. The Bucs clicked on all cylinders and won 6-0.
Next on the horizon were the hapless San Deigo Padres. The Bucs continued their momentum through a long series opener Friday night, as the combination of a two-hour rain delay and an offensive showcase made the contest a little more eventful than it was supposed to be. A six-run seventh inning propelled Pittsburgh to an important 10-6 win.
Frustration reared its ugly head again Saturday night. The Pirate offense only managed one hit off of tomato can Dinelson Lamet. A pair of late runs off the San Diego bullpen was not enough, and the Bucs fell 5-2.
The series ended in exciting fashion. What looked to be a pedestrian Pirate victory turned into one of the more exciting games of the season. Felipe Rivero’s first blown save of the campaign was a blessing in disguise, as the returning Sean Rodriguez sent the city into a frenzy with a walk-off bomb in the 12th to give Pittsburgh a refreshing series win.
Next up were the Detriot Tigers. The good vibes from Sunday carried over to Monday night, thanks to the continued success of starting pitcher Trevor Williams. The kid is alright, and was more than alright Monday, allowing no runs and just one hit in seven innings of work. Juan Nicasio and newcomer George Kontos did the rest, aided by a pinch-hit jack from John Jaso, and the Bucs cruised to a 3-0 win.
The final game of the home stand saw another three-run W. Six well-pitched innings from Chad Kuhl, along with Andrew McCutchen’s 23rd homer of the campaign propelled the Bucs to a 6-3 win, ending the stretch on a high note.
This home stand saw plenty of highs and lows, and I will break them all down, discussing how the Pirates performed in the key facets of the game using a “report card” format. Let’s get into it.