Chris Archer’s Struggles Continue In Pittsburgh Pirates Loss

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The abysmal post-break play for the Pittsburgh Pirates continued on Tuesday night

On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals played the second game of their four-game set between divisional rivals. For a second consecutive night the Pirates suffered a 1-run loss.

Following a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals, the Pirates are now a lowly 2-9 since the All-Star Break. This has dropped the Pirates to 46-54 overall on the season, tying their season high total of games under .500 at eight.

For the second time in as many nights the Pirate offense threatened in the bottom of the 1st inning. Unlike Monday night, when the team loaded the bases with just one out and failed to score, the Pirates would capitalized.

Adam Frazier singled to start the game and Bryan Reynolds walked. This was followed by a 3-run blast from Starling Marte. His 17th home run of the season gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately, the lead was short lived.

Back-to-back double by Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong produced a run in the 2nd inning. A 2-run 3rd inning home run by Paul Goldschmidt off of Chris Archer tied the game.

Leading off the top of the 5th inning Jose Martinez took Archer deep. The third Cardinal long ball of the night made the score 4-3 Red Birds.

In 6 innings of work Archer allowed 4 runs on seven hits, two walks, and two home runs. He also struck out six Cardinals. Archer has now allowed a National League worst 24 home runs this season, contributing to his 5.40 ERA and 5.65 FIP.

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This season has been a miserable one for Archer. He was expected to help anchor the Pirate rotation, but has been one of the worst starting pitchers in the NL. He has a team option worth $8.25M for next season. If he continues to pitch this way, he will not be worth that salary. It will be interesting to see what the Pirates do with his option at the end of the season.

With the team trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Pirates loaded the bases with zero outs against Cardinal starter Dakota Hudson. Frazier singled, Reynolds walked, Marte walked, and the Pirates looked primed to at least tie the game. Unfortunately, this is not how things would go.

Josh Bell struck out swinging in what was one of the worst at bats he has had all season. Colin Moran then hit into an inning ending double play.

Batting with the bases loaded has been a problem for the Pirates all season. With the bases loaded this season the Pirates have scored just 40 runs, which is the lowest amount in all of Major League Baseball.

The Bell strikeout was the start of the Pirate offense shutting down for the night. Cardinal pitching retired the final 14 Pirate batters of the night en route to a 4-3 St. Louis victory.

Overlooked in the loss was great work from Chris Stratton. Pitching in relief of Archer, Stratton pitched 3 perfect innings of relief. This included recording four strikeouts.

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Jordan Lyles (4.91 ERA, 4.39 FIP) will start for the Pirates in the third game of the series. Lyles will be looking to build upon his strong start against the Phillies last Friday, which was his first good start since mid-May. Veteran Adam Wainwright (4.50 ERA, 4.36 FIP) will start for the Cardinals. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05.