Pittsburgh Pirates Start Final Series of the Season with a Loss

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates saw their four-game winning streak end on Thursday night

During the 2017 season the road has not been kind to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Thursday night this trend continued as the Pirates started their final series of the 2017 season with a 5-4 loss at Nationals Park against the Washington Nationals.

With the loss, the Pirates are now 73-86 this season. Their 73-86 record includes being a miserable 29-49 away from PNC Park.

Right-handed pitcher Ivan Nova was making his final start of the season for the Pirates on Thursday night. Unfortunately, his start would be short-lived. Additionally, it was a start in which it did not take the Nationals long to grab a lead.

Wilmer Difo doubled to start the bottom of the first inning. After an Anthony Rendon walk with one out, Daniel Murphy collected a RBI single. This hit gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead after an inning of play.

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The top of third inning saw the Pirates take the lead, as well as Ivan Nova’s night come to an end.

Max Moroff walked with one out in the inning. Then, Nova fouled a ball off while trying to bunt that hit him in the hand. This caused Nova’s night to end after just two innings pitched.

Following Nova exiting the game and pinch-hitter Steven Brault grounding out, Chris Bostick hit a double to score Moroff. This double by Bostick tied the game. Starling Marte then singled home Bostick to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

In two innings of work on Thursday night Nova allowed four hits, a run, a walk, and he struck out two. He will finish the 2017 campaign with a 4.14 ERA and a 4.46 FIP.

Tyler Glasnow took over on the mound for the Pirates in the bottom of the third inning. Things started out shaky for Glasnow. After two walks, a wild pitch, and a ground out the Nationals tied the game. However, Glasnow settled down after this.

After pitching a scoreless fourth and fifth inning, Glasnow ran into trouble once again in the bottom of the sixth inning. After loading the bases with two outs he was lifted for Edgar Santana who would strike out Victor Robles to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded.

In 3 2/3 relief innings pitched Glasnow allowed just one run and two hits. However, he continued to struggle with his control walking five batters and throwing a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Dovydas Neverauskas took over on the mound for the Pirates. Unfortuantely, things did not go well for Neverauskas.

To start the inning Neverauskas walked Anthony Rendon. Then with one out, he allowed a go-ahead triple to Alejandro De Aza. This made the score 3-2 Nationals.

After this Neverauskas was lifted for left-handed pitcher Jack Leathersich. Adam Lind would hit a sacrifice fly off of Leathersich to make the score 4-2 Nationals. Leathersich would then allow a double and record a strikeout to end the inning.

After Johnny Barbato pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth inning for the Pirates, Sean Doolittle entered the game for the Nationals in the top of the ninth inning.

Andrew McCutchen would collect a single to start the top of the ninth inning. Josh Bell would then make history. The rookie switch hitter blasted a game-tying two-run home run off of Doolittle. This was Bell’s 26th home run of the season, tying Jason Bay‘s Pirate rookie home run record.

In the bottom of the ninth inning Daniel Hudson entered the game for the Pirates. It would not take the Nationals long to score the winning run off of Hudson.

Anthoyn Rendon and Daniel Murphy hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Then with runners on the corners and no one out, Alejandro De Aza collected the walk-off hit. This gave the Nationals a 5-4 victory.

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There are just three games remaining for the 2017 Pittsburgh Baseball Club. Hopefully, the Bucs, who are 4-2 in their past six games, can pick up a few more victories to finish the season with a strong final week and a half to end on a high note.

At 7:05 on Friday night the Pittsburgh Pirates will play the second game of this four-game series. The Bucs will send Gerrit Cole to the mound for his final start of the 2017 season, while the Nats will counter with Stephen Strasburg. Friday night should be an awesome pitching matchup down in the nation’s capital.