Pittsburgh Pirates Get Shutout in Series Opening Loss to the Phillies
By Marty Leap
The Pittsburgh Pirates offense continued to sputter in Thursday night’s 7-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies
On Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates started a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park against the Philadelphia Phillies. In this game, the Bucs faced longtime nemesis Jake Arrieta. As Arrieta has done so many times before, he dominated the Pirates in a 7-0 Phillies victory.
With the loss, the Pirates have now lost 3 of their last 4 games to fall to 12-7 on the season. The team’s offense has sputtered during this stretch averaging just 3 runs per game. In total, the Pirates have scored 12 runs in their last four games with 10 of them coming in Wednesday afternoon’s victory over the Rockies.
Jameson Taillon entered Thursday night’s game with a 15 inning scoreless streak and a 0.89 ERA. However, the Pirate righty would get drubbed in the loss.
After retiring the Phillies in order in the bottom of the 1st inning, Taillon allowed a home run to Rhys Hoskins to start the bottom of the 2nd inning. Nick Williams followed the Hoskins’ home run by drawing a walk and Taillon, despite being ahead in the count 0-2, would then hit Scott Kingery with a pitch. A bunt single by J.P. Crawford would load the bases with no one out.
After Taillon got back-to-back strikeouts, he had a 3-2 count on Cesar Hernandez and was one pitch away from escaping disaster. However, Hernandez lined Taillon’s 3-2 pitch into center field for a base hit. A lackadaisical effort by Starling Marte and an abysmal relay throw by Adam Frazier allowed a trio of runs to score, making it 4-0 Phillies. Taillon would allow another run producing hit and issue a walk before being lifted for Tyler Glasnow.
When the smoke cleared, Taillon has allowed 5 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks, and a home run in just 1 2/3 innings pitched.
Glasnow deserves a lot of credit for helping to save the Pirate bullpen in Thursday night’s loss. He would pitch 3 2/3 innings of relief, allowing a pair of runs on 3 hits, 3 walks, and he struck out a career-high tying 7 batters. The second run Glasnow allowed came on a bloop hit by Odubel Herrera where there may have been a play at the plate had Corey Dickerson come up firing.
The recently promoted Richard Rodriguez made his second Pirate appearance after Glasnow. In 2 2/3 innings pitched, Rodriguez allowed just 2 hits and he recorded 6 strikeouts.
In his two appearances for the Pirates, Rodriguez has flashed some good stuff. He has thrown an explosive fastball with deception and a plus breaking pitch. Rodriguez is an intriguing bullpen arm to watch moving forward.
After 7 dominant innings, Gabe Kapler lifted his starting pitcher. Arrieta allowed just an infield hit to Francisco Cervelli, he walked 2, and struck out 10 in 7 shutout innings of work. On Thursday night, Jake Arrieta looked like the pitcher that dominated the National League in 2015 and 2016.
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Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday. Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates, while the Phillies will send Ben Lively to the mound. The Bucs will be looking to even this series at a win apiece.