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

MILWAUKEE, WI - AUGUST 15: Josh Bell /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
MILWAUKEE, WI – AUGUST 16: Andrew McCutchen /


After not getting anything done against Verlander Wednesday night, the Bucco bats jumped all over Drew VerHagen in the series finale, touching up the Detroit starter for six runs over just 3.2 innings. The runs would prove to be vital, as the Tigers made it interesting with two tallies in the ninth inning before Felipe Rivero buckled down to nail down the 7-5 W.

Upon heading to the great white north, the Bucs had a tough assignment Friday night in Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman. Although Stroman pitched well, going eight innings without allowing an earned run, the defense behind him let him down. Big time. Two errors from second baseman Rob Refsnyder played a leading part in Pittsburgh’s four-run third inning. That was all the offense the Bucs needed.

The Pirates scored a total of four runs in the next three contests. Chris Rowley, J.A. Happ and Zach Davies – none of which are impressive – silenced the Bucco bats for the most part, and that is a big reason why Pittsburgh struggled in those three games.

Pittsburgh’s offensive attack finally woke up Wednesday afternoon. So of course, the starting pitching and bullpen stunk to negate that performance. Josh Bell had three hits, while Starling Marte and Chris Stewart added two apiece to contribute to six runs. Sadly, the rest of the team ruined it.

Overall, the offense didn’t accomplish a lot this week. Not counting either weekday afternoon game, or Friday night’s goofy third inning, the Bucs scored a total of four runs on this road trip. That’s not okay.

Gregory Polanco’s recent return to the disabled list won’t make things any easier, either. Aside from Bell and Andrew McCutchen, there hasn’t been a lot of consistency from this group. That will need to change for this team to remain somewhat in the NL Central race.

Grade: D