The struggles of the Pittsburgh Pirates continued on Friday night as they were shutout by the San Francisco Giants, falling to 1-10 in their last 11 games played
Right now there is just about nothing going right for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Following a 2-0 loss against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, the Pirates are now 1-10 in their last 11 games played and 25-38 overall on the season.
This is not the way the Pittsburgh Pirates were hoping to kick off their homestand. To make matters worse, prior to the start of the game Tucupita Marcano, who had been making a strong push to become the team’s every day second baseman, was placed on the COVID-19 IL. Again, nothing is going right for the Pirates right now.
Non-existent Pirate offense
To call the Pirate offense non-existent on Friday night would be generous. Pirate batters were just 2-for-28 at the plate with a pair of walks. They only had 1 at-bat with a runner in scoring position and struck out 8 times.
The only Pirate hits were singles by Jack Suwinski and Ke’Bryan Hayes. The only time a Pirate runner reached second base was when Suwinski’s two-out single in the 5th inning was followed by a Yu Chang walk.
The Pirate offense is in a bad way right now. They are getting essentially zero offense out of shortstop, catcher, first base against right-handed batting, and, with Daniel Vogelbach struggling, designated hitter. Second base may now become a black hole with Marcano out as well. Too bad the Pirates do not have highly touted prospects at Triple-A who are swinging a hot bat and capable of playing those positions. Oh, wait….
Zach Thompson scuffles
Since May 1st Zach Thompson has been one of the best starting pitchers in the National League. Friday night, however, Thompson struggled. He battles his control throughout the start and failed to get through 5 innings.
Thompson pitched 4.1 innings and walked 5 batters, but the only runs he allowed were on a pair of solo home runs. He limited the Giants to just 4 hits, but struck out just 2 Giant batters in his 4.1 innings pitched.
Leading off the game Thompson missed a spot on a pitch Luis González which led to a leadoff home run for González. To Thompson’s credit, while poor control often times found him in a tough spot he was able to induce three big double play balls to help prevent further damage.
Despite struggling on Friday night, Thompson still has a 2.48 ERA in 40 innings pitched across 9 appearances, 8 starts, since May 1st. Thompson still appears to be a pitcher that is trending in the right direction for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Dominant night for the Pirate bullpen
While the Pirate offense struggled mightily on Friday night, the bullpen was dominant. After Thompson scuffled he was replaced by lefty Cam Vieaux who was making his MLB debut after being added to the roster earlier in the day on Friday.
Vieaux pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in his MLB debut. He allowed a hit and struck out 3 Giant batters. Vieaux looked confident and in control on the mound, he certainly did not look like a pitcher making their MLB debut. While his stint with the Pirates may be short lived as players begin to return from the IL, it was a hell of a debut for Vieaux and one he can talk about for a long time.
After Vieaux, Yerry De Los Santos was summoned from the bullpen by Derek Shelton. The rookie pitched a 1-2-3 7th innings, striking out a pair. De Los Santos has done nothing but impress since making his MLB debut a few weeks ago.
Chase De Jong then finished the game off for the Pittsburgh Pirates. De Jong pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief, he allowed a base hit and struck out 4 batters. Quietly, De Jong has pitched extremely well this season now owning a 1.93 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 23.1 innings pitched this season.
José Quintana (3.53 ERA, 3.61 FIP) will make his 13th start of the season for the Pittsburgh Pirates in game two of the series on Saturday afternoon. Fellow lefty Alex Wood (4.11 ERA, 3.12 FIP) is slated to start for the Giants. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled fro 4:05 PM ET.