Pittsburgh Pirates home stand review for 8/1-8/8

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07: Andrew McCutchen
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07: Andrew McCutchen /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 03: Starling Marte /


Since Taillon allowed eight runs, we don’t need to discuss what the Pirates offense did last Tuesday night.

The next night was little better. Despite facing a starting pitcher who came into the night a 7.86 earned run average, the Bucs managed a lousy two runs. To make matters worse, those tallies came after Reds starter Robert Stephenson left the game. Andrew McCutchen had two hits, tho. So that’s something positive if expected.

Right from the get-go, the Bucco bats were on in the series finale. The Pirates scored two in the first, two in the third, and finished things off with two in the seventh to compliment Chad Kuhl’s best start of 2017. Four different players had multi-hit nights, with Starling Marte and David Freese each producing three hits. Arguably the best part of it all was that John Jaso broke a month-long hitless streak with a little poke in the seventh.

After struggling to get much going against journeyman Travis Wood Friday night, the Bucco bats came alive in the seventh inning. Trailing 6-4, a three-run pinch-hit jack by Gregory Polanco gave Pittsburgh the lead, and it never looked back, scoring three more times in the frame to put the game out of reach.

Saturday was similar to what we saw in the Cincinnati series in that an awful pitcher dominated the Pirates. Dinelson Lamet allowed one hit over 5.1 innings of work. Nothing more needs to be said about that.

Although the Bucs scored four runs against another scrub in Clayton Richard, it would have been fantastic if they had gotten just one or two more tallies to put the game to bed before extra innings. Granted, this would have eliminated the possibility of Serpico’s heroics, but a pitcher as poor as Richard has been this season should not be throwing six innings, and it almost cost the Bucs.

The bats couldn’t get much done against Jordan Zimmerman Monday night, but one run was all they would need. Fortunately, they added two more in the seventh when Jaso hit a two-out, two-run homer to put the game out of reach.

After a Marte single had started the scoring and a McCutchen homer gave Chad Kuhl some breathing room, the Pirates starter helped his cause with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth that pushed the lead to 4-0. The Bucs added two more runs to end the homestand on a positive note offensively.

Despite scoring six or more times on three occasions this week, the offense struggled with starting pitchers that it should not have had a hard time with. Richard, Lamet and Zimmerman should not have done as well as they did against this team. If the Pirates have any hope of catching the Chicago Cubs and winning the NL Central, they will need to take advantage of tomato cans on the mound.

Grade: C-