Pittsburgh Pirates Drubbed By The Dodgers Again

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03: Ivan Nova #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on after allowing a solo home run to Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a game at Dodger Stadium on July 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03: Ivan Nova #46 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on after allowing a solo home run to Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a game at Dodger Stadium on July 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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For a second consecutive night the Pittsburgh Pirates were not even competitive in a loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers

3. 4. 8. 71. Final

Monday night’s 17-1 loss against the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the ugliest losses the Pittsburgh Pirates have had during Clint Hurdle‘s tenure as manager. While things did not get quite that ugly on Tuesday night, the Pirates were beaten soundly by the Dodgers once again.

On a night in which the Pirates allowed the most home runs they have in a single game since 2011, the Bucs were 8-3 losers against the Dodgers on Tuesday night With the loss, the Pirates are now 4-4 on their current nine-game road trip, 1-4 against the Dodgers, and 40-45 overall this season.

Tuesday night’s game quickly turned south for the Pirates. After the Bucs were retired in order in the top of the 1st inning, Joc Pederson crushed the first pitch Ivan Nova threw in the bottom half of the inning for a home run.

Max Muncy followed Pederson’s home run with one of his own. Four pitches into Nova’s outings he found himself trailing the Dodgers 2-0. After walking Justin Turner, Nova would settle down. He got back-to-back strikeouts, the second of which included Elias Diaz throwing out Turner trying to score to end the inning.

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Diaz led off the top of the 2nd inning for the Pirates with a hustle double into right-center field. He would come around to score on a David Freese single that cut the Dodger lead to 2-1. Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw then got a broken bat pop out and a double play to end the inning.

Muncy would strike against Nova again in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The slugging Dodger infielder led the inning off with his second home run of the game – and 20th of the season – making the score 3-1 Dodgers.

After Muncy had struck for a second time, it was Diaz and Freese’s turn to do the same.

With two outs in the top of the 4th inning Diaz doubled down the left field line. His second double of the game led to Freese’s second run-scoring hit of the game. Freese’s base hit that scored Diaz cut the Dodger lead to 3-2.

The bottom of the 4th inning saw Nova continue to throw batting practice to the Dodgers. After Yasmani Grandal tripled to start the inning, Chris Taylor launched a two-run home run to left field. The fourth home run allowed by Nova made the score 5-2 Dodgers.

Grandal led off the bottom of the 6th inning with the fifth Dodger home run of the night. Following the Grandal blast Taylor ripped a double off of Nova ending his night. Hurdle would execute a double switch that saw Dovydas Neverauskas replace Nova on the mound and Max Moroff take over at second base.

The first pitch Neverauskas threw was hammered to center field by Hernandez. The two-run home run made the score 8-2 Dodgers and closed the book on Nova. In 5+ innings pitched Nova was rocked for seven runs on nine hits, eight extra base hits, five home runs, two walks, and three strikeouts.

Nova was flat out awful on Tuesday night. His control was iffy at best, the Dodgers were teeing off on him throughout the night (they put nine balls in play with an exit velocity of 100+ miles per hour), he was fooling no one, and, as a result, his ERA ballooned from 4.02 to 4.48 while his FIP rose from 3.96 to 4.65.

Nova also became the first pticher in Pirate history to allow five or more home runs in a single game.

The strong night for Freese continued in the top of the 7th inning. With one out in the inning, Freese pulled a solo home run to left field. His 5th home run of the season made the score 8-3 Dodgers.

Things are continuing to get worse for the Pirates. After another beatdown loss at the hands of the Dodgers on Tuesday night the Bucs are a season high tying five games below .500. This comes as a result of the team being 14-28 in their last 42 games. Unfortunately, there is not much of a light at the end of the tunnel as all 12 games remaining before the All-Star Break come against teams with a winning record.

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The third and final game of the series is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. on Wednesday night. Joe Musgrove was originally slated to start for the Pirates, but after he was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday the team’s starter is now TBA. Meanwhile, the Dodgers will send veteran lefty Rich Hill to the mound.