Pittsburgh Pirates: 9th Inning Rally Falls Short Against Dodgers


4. 71. 3. 4. Final

Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium the Pittsburgh Pirates had a 9th inning rally that fell short in their second 1 run loss in as many days against the Dodgers

Entering this week’s three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers the Pittsburgh Pirates had a tall task in front of them. The Dodgers entered the series hot and are one of the most talented teams in baseball.

Through the first two games of the series the Pirate pitching staff has done a good job of keeping the high powered Dodgers lineup in check. However, the Pirate lineup has not been able to cash in on many of their opportunities at the plate leading to two 1 run losses in as many days.

Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates had a 9th inning rally fall short for the second consecutive night. Following the 4-3 loss, the Pirates are now 42-78 on the season and are just 8-28 since the All-Star Break.

Wil Crowe labors through 4 innings

Wil Crowe is a pitcher who has been trending in an upward trajectory for the Pittsburgh Pirates since the start of July. Tuesday night he allowed just 2 runs, however, it came in just 4 innings that he labored through.

Crowe allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, a pair of walks, he struck out 4 and did not allow a home run. The problem is he needed 85 pitches to get through his 4 innings of work. That said, there were still encouraging signs from Crowe in the start.

In the 1st inning Crowe got back-to-back strikeouts after the Dodgers put runners on the corners with just one out. He also did not allow a home run despite struggling with the home run ball all season and the Dodgers being one of the top home run hitting teams in baseball.

Both runs Crowe allowed were scored in the 3rd inning, but there was some tough luck in the inning for Crowe. With one out in the inning Cody Bellinger doubled thanks in large part to a poor throw by Bryan Reynolds. AJ Pollock then blooped a single into shallow center field to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Following Tuesday night’s start Crowe now owns a 3.72 ERA, 11.8% walk rate and a 23.1% strikeout rate in his last 8 starts. The big issue is that he has struggled to go deep into games in these 8 starts, averaging just 4.7 innings per start.

4th inning rally for the Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates entered the 4th inning trialing 2-0. However, this would quickly change following an offensive outburst in the inning.

Ke’Bryan Hayes singled to start the inning and then he scored on a Bryan Reynolds double. Reynolds then took third base on a fly out by Yoshi Tsutsugo. This put him in position to take advantage of any ball put into play.

Catcher Jacob Stallings obliged with said ball in play with a ground out to third base. Gavin Lux attempted to throw home but his throw got away from Austin Barnes allowing Reynolds to score and for Stallings to advance to second base. With Stallings on second base and one out the inning then came to an end with a Gregory Polanco fly out and a Rodolfo Castro ground out.

Two-out 5th inning hit sinks Cody Ponce

After Crowe’s night ended Derek Shelton handed the ball to Cody Ponce. While Ponce was able to retire the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the 6th inning, it came after he allowed 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th.

Corey Seager doubled to start the inning, but after a ground out and a strikeout it appeared Ponce might be able to wiggle off the hook. Ponce then walked Pollock before allowing a double to Matt Beaty. Beaty’s double gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.

The double Beaty hit was a ground ball that just barely snuck between the glove of first baseman Yoshi Tsutsugo and the first base line. Ponce was just inches away from wiggling off the hook and keeping the game tied.

9th inning rally falls short

For the second time in as many days a 9th inning rally fell short for the Pirates. Just as he did in Monday night’s loss Tsutsugo doubled in the 9th inning, this double leading off the inning. who one out Gregory Polanco walked and then Colin Moran recorded a pinch hit single.

Following Moran’s run-scoring pinch hit single the Pirates were trailing just 4-3 and had the tying run on second base with just one out. Ben Gamel then lined out to third base and Hoy Park grounded out to end the game.

For the second time in as many days the Pirates suffered a 1 run loss to the Dodgers while leaving the tying run in scoring position.

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What’s next?

Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to salvage a game in the series to avoid being swept. The struggling JT Brubaker (5.13 ERA, 5.14 FIP) will toe the rubber for the Pirates. As of this writing the Dodger starter is still TBD. First pitch from Dodger Stadium is scheduled for 10:10 PM ET.