Monday night the Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off their four-game series in the desert with a 3-0 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks
Next up in the Pittsburgh Pirates three-city, four-game road trip is a trip to the desert. Monday night the Pirates kicked off a four-game series at Chase Field in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It did not take long for Monday night’s game to turn into a pitcher’s duel. Albeit, it was a non-traditional one as the Diamondbacks rode a strong starting pitching performance and the Pirates rode a strong night from the bullpen. In fact, through the first 6 innings of the game the only run that was scored was unearned.
Through the pitching struggle, the dust settled with the Pittsburgh Pirates suffering a 3-0 loss. With the loss, the Pirates are now 4-3 this month, 1-3 on their current road trip and 44-65 overall on the season.
Strong start for Tyler Beede
For a consecutive outing Tyler Beede started for the Pittsburgh Pirates, operating as an opener. Beede, who was claimed off waivers in May, would go on to turn in his best outing as a member of the Pirates.
Beede was bale to give the Pirates 3.2 scoreless innings. He limited the Diamondbacks to just two hits, he walked a batter and struck out a pair. Beede threw 36 of his 57 pitches for strikes, which is a strong 63.2% strike rate.
Beede’s stuff continues to improve since coming to the Pirates. Beede threw 16 fastballs that had a velocity of at least 96 MPH on Monday night, including three more that hit the gun at 95.9 MPH, as his uptick in velocity continues.
While he now has a strong 3.57 ERA and 4.24 FIP this season, his swing-and-miss numbers, even though he generated seven of them, continue to be a concern. Beede has struck out just 13.4% of batters faced this season which is well below league average. If Beede can begin to miss more bats, the Pirates may have found a waiver claim gem.
Frustrating 6th inning leads to an Arizona run
Entering the bottom of the 6th inning the game was tied at zero. Quickly, a variety of defensive miscues, with a poor call by the home plate umpire mixed in, would put the Pittsburgh Pirates into a hole.
Leading off the inning Geraldo Perdomo hit a ground ball right at third baseman Michael Chavis, but Chavis lost the ball at his feet allowing Perdomo to reach on an infield single. Manny Bañuelos would then appear to have Perdomo picked off first base, but Bañuelos’s pick off throw was dropped by first baseman Bligh Madris allowing Perdomo to reach second base.
The pitch before the botched pick off thrown home plate umpire Adam Hamari called an 0-1 pitch to Josh Rojas that was well within the strike zone a ball. With the count on Rojas 1-1 instead of 0-2, he laid down a bunt. On the bunt attempt Bañuelos failed to cover first after Madris fielded the ball, Madris likely had an out at third base but decided to not throw the ball. Instead, he dove to try and tag Rojas as he raced toward the first base bag and missed. This put runners on the corners with no one out.
With Arizona runners on the corners and no one out, Bañuelos induced a 4-6-3 double play ball. He was then lifted for Yerry De Los Santos who recorded the final out of the inning. Despite allowing an unearned run, Bañuelos has been excellent of late posting a 0.90 ERA, 10 strikeouts and four walks across 10 innings pitched in his last 10 outings.
Poor base running hurts the Pirates in the 7th inning
Bryan Reynolds drew a walk with one out in the 7th inning. Ben Gamel then hit a ball that center field Alek Thomas dove to catch and missed. Despite Thomas missing the ball, Reynolds was still thrown out at third base by right fielder Daulton Varsho.
The reason Reynolds was thrown out was due ot hesitation on the bases. Reynolds got more than halfway to second base before throwing on the brakes to watch the ball. At this point, had Thomas caught the ball Reynolds likely would not have gotten back to first base anyway.
Reynolds needed to either commit to attempting to go to third base or jog into second and stop. Instead, Reynolds hesitated, slipped, and then took off. He rounded second and was thrown out at third base. Chavis then grounded out to end the inning.
Yohan Ramirez struggles in the 8th inning
The Pirates had both Yohan Ramirez and Duane Underwood Jr. warming in the top of the 8th inning. With the team only trailing 1-0, for some reason, Derek Shelton chose to go with Ramirez. This did not end well.
Ramirez walked the first two batters he faced before struggling with a bunt attempt. This landed the bases with no one out. While he got back-to-back ground outs to cut down the runner at the plate, Ramirez then allowed a two-run single to Ketel Marte to make the score 3-0 Diamondbacks and put the game on ice.
Tuesday night’s game two will see Zach Thompson (5.15 ERA, 5.33 FIP) is slated to start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Arizona will send lefty Tommy Henry (7.02 ERA, 6.92 FIP) to the mound for this second MLB start. First pitch from Chase Field is scheduled for 9:40 PM ET.