Pittsburgh Pirates Fall 3-1 in Series Finale, Swept by Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Chase De Jong #37 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Chase De Jong #37 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park on June 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

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Following Wednesday afternoon’s loss the Pittsburgh Pirates have now lost 10 games in a row and fall to 23-44 on the season

Chase De Jong made his fourth start of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday afternoon. Entering the start he owned a 4.80 ERA and 5.56 FIP through 15 innings. The righty threw 5 innings against the Brewers in his last outing on June 11th but did not make it to the 5th inning this Wednesday afternoon as he was pulled after just 4 innings and 71 pitches. De Jong allowed 1 earned run on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 4.

It was a long afternoon in what is quickly becoming a very long season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates own the second worst record in the National League behind just the Arizona Diamondbacks, and are 11-33 since their strong 12-11 start.

Scoring Breakdown

The Nationals struck first this afternoon as catcher Yan Gomes, who hit a grand slam in the 1st inning in last night’s game, homered again today in the 2nd to give Washington an early 1-0 lead.

De Jong worked his way out of some trouble in the bottom half of the 4th inning as he walked Josh Bell and allowed a single to Gomes to put runners on first and third with one out. Luis Garcia then reached via an infield single to first, however Bell did not break for the plate so that left the bases loaded with one out for Nationals’ third baseman Jordy Mercer. The former Pirate shortstop struck out swinging and Victor Robles popped out to Adam Frazier in shallow center to end the inning.

Chasen Shreve threw a clean 5th inning. Although Chris Stratton ran into some trouble in the 6th, he was able to keep the Nationals off the board as well. Bell singled to lead off the inning and after striking out Gomes, Stratton walked both Garcia and Mercer to load the bases with one out. Robles then stepped to the plate and flew out to Gregory Polanco in shallow right field, not quite deep enough to give Bell a chance to tag. With two outs and the bases loaded Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez called upon 16-year veteran Ryan Zimmerman to pinch-hit but Stratton was able to induce a fly out to center to put an end to the threat.

David Bednar came on in the bottom of the 7th inning and got Kyle Schwarber to fly out to left and then struck out Trea Turner before allowing a single to Juan Soto. With one on and two outs former Pirate Josh Bell homered to right-center to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead and some breathing room heading into the final innings. Bednar has been solid out of the bullpen this year but has now allowed a home run in back-to-back outings.

Adam Frazier lined out to shortstop to lead off the 8th inning but Ke’Bryan Hayes then doubled to right and Bryan Reynolds followed with a single to left-center to get the Pirates on the board. After Reynolds’ RBI single Dave Martinez called upon his closer Brad Hand out of the bullpen, tasking him with completing a five-out save. Hand struck out Polanco and got Phillip Evans to fly out to right to end the 8th.

Richard Rodríguez came on for the Pirates in the 9th and pitched a clean inning to keep the score at 3-1.

After a Ben Gamel groundout and Kevin Newman fly out in the bottom of the 9th, Jacob Stallings and pinch-hitter Erik González both singled but unfortunately the Bucs were unable to break their losing streak as Frazier grounded out to second to end the game.

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What’s Next?

Thursday will be an off day for the Pittsburgh Pirates before they resume play at PNC Park on Friday night at 7:05 PM ET. Right Chad Kuhl (6.52 ERA, 6.51 FIP) will take the mound in an attempt to get back on track after a poor outing in Milwaukee last week. The Cleveland Indians, who the Pirates will battle in a three-game interleague series, have let to announce a starter.