Pittsburgh Pirates Fall 4-1, Lose 7th Game in a Row
The Pittsburgh Pirates entered Tuesday night’s game on a six-game losing streak with a record of 14-32. Now losers of seven in a row, the Pirates frustrating 2020 season continues.
Following two losses against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, Joe Musgrove took the mound at Great American Ballpark on Tuesday night. Musgrove was looking to pitch the Pittsburgh Pirates to a much needed victory.
After being swept in Monday’s doubleheader, the Pittsburgh Pirates struggles continued Tuesday night, falling 4-1 to the 24-26 Reds who entered tonight’s game just one game behind the Phillies and Giants for an NL Wild Card spot. With the loss, the Pirates have now lost seven games in a row and are 14-33 on the season.
An Up and Down Start From Joe Musgrove
Coming into tonight’s game, the Pirates Opening Day starter sat at 0-4 with an ERA of 5.40. Despite his struggles this year, Musgrove had pitched well against the Reds throughout his career, going 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA against Cincinnati entering into tonight’s game. After giving up 4 earned runs over his 5 innings of work tonight, Musgrove now sits at 0-5 with an ERA of 5.74.
Musgrove got off to a rough start in this one, surrendering singles to Shogo Akiyama and Nick Castellanos to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning. After walking Joey Votto to load the bases, Jesse Winker grounded back to Musgrove and he was able to make the force out at the plate for the first out of the inning. He then hit Mike Moustakas with an 0-2 pitch to bring in the Reds first run of the game before Brian Goodwin hit a sacrifice fly and Freddy Galvis singled to give the Reds an early 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart led off with a solo home run to right to give Cincinnati an early 4-0 lead.
Despite the ERA going up and another loss added to his record, Musgrove did show signs of strength throughout the night as he settled in after the Barnhart home run, striking out eight Reds through his five innings.
Josh Bell Nine-Game Hit Streak
Despite the fact that his lone hit tonight was a swinging bunt to first base that likely would have rolled foul had Votto waited a few more seconds, Josh Bell was 1-3 with a walk tonight, extending his hit streak to nine games. Over those nine games, Bell has gone 14-31 (.451 AVG) with three home runs and four RBI.
Blake Cederlind Makes His MLB Debut
Right-handed pitching prospect Blake Cederlind made his much anticipated MLB debut Tuesday night and certainly impressed, throwing 1 inning of hitless ball. After a very impressive spring, the Pirates had high hopes for Cederlind entering 2020 but his MLB debut was put on hold as the right-handed reliever tested positive for COVID-19 during summer camp.
Cederlind came into tonight’s game in the sixth inning and impressed immediately, with his fastball touching 99 MPH and slider touching 92 MPH in his only inning of work. The young reliever threw only 14 pitches (nine strikes) and sat the Reds down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 6th. Cederlind has all of the tools and figures to have a very prominent role in the Pirates bullpen in the coming years.
Gregory Polanco’s Struggles Continue
Coming into tonight’s game, Gregory Polanco‘s batting average sat at .142 and that number dropped even lower tonight as the struggling right fielder struck out three times in his four plate appearances. Polanco has now struck out 56 times in his 123 at bats this season and may be running out of time to re-establish himself in MLB. The 29-year-old has dealt with injury problems throughout his career but Polanco entered the 2020 season healthy and with high expectations to some but he has simply failed to make contact this year.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to salvage game four tomorrow night as JT Brubaker (5.34 ERA, 4.71 DRA) will take the mound against Luis Castillo (3.44 ERA, 3.26 DRA) and the Reds at 6:40 PM EST.