Pittsburgh Pirates road trip report card for 8/9 – 8/16

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 15: Josh Bell /
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TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 13: Josh Harrison
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 13: Josh Harrison /

Another Pirates road trip is in the books. This week, the Bucs traveled to Detroit for two games with the Tigers, then to the great white north for three with the Toronto Blue Jays, and finally to Milwaukee for two more with the Brewers. Boy, was this stretch an ugly one.

After an encouraging end to the last home stand, the road trip started in ugly fashion. Justin Verlander was in command, Ivan Nova wasn’t, and the Pirates’ bullpen imploded to make for a 10-0 Tiger romp Wednesday night.

The Bucs rebounded the next day. Three hits by Adam Frazier, along with home runs by Josh Bell and Sean Rodriguez contributed to seven runs. This was enough to back eight strong innings from Gerrit Cole for a 7-5 win.

Next on the horizon was three games with the Blue Jays. The series got off to a positive start Friday night.  A combination of quality work from Jameson Taillon and some not-so-quality defense from Toronto propelled the Bucs to a 4-2 win.

The last two games in Canada were not kind to Pittsburgh. Neither Trevor Williams nor Chad Kuhl had their best stuff, and it led to consecutive lopsided losses.

After an off day Monday, the Bucs returned to action for a two-game set with the hated Brewers Although Nova looked like the pitcher we saw at the beginning of the season, the Pirates offense could not get much done against Zach Davies and the Bucs lost another one, 3-1.

Wednesday’s contest was particularly frustrating. Although the Pirates had leads of 4-0, 5-4 and 6-5, they could not hold on and fell 7-6, ending the road trip with an awful 2-5 mark.

There were limited positives, and an abundance of negatives to take from this past week. Here is a breakdown of all of it, written in a “report card” format.